Smarter, More Powerful Electric Fortwo Due In 2012
Demand for the second generation car greatly outstripped predictions, leading to Daimler more than doubling its planned production run of 1,000 vehicles. As a result, the carmaker has extended its sales from 18 markets to 30 for the new model, with an five-figure production run of an unconfirmed size.
It also draws on feedback from the two previous generations, covering four years since the first 100 cars were tested in London in 2007. Daimler said improved performance was ranked as a top priority for the next model.
The third generation car is the first vehicle to benefit from Daimler’s recent joint venture with Bosch, developing its 74bhp, 95lb-ft EM-motive magneto-electric motor. This allows it to reach 37mph in five seconds, compared to 6.5 seconds for the outgoing model, before passing 62mph in less than 13 seconds on its way to a higher 75mph top speed.
Power comes from a Deutsche ACCumotive battery, produced as part of another joint venture with Evonik Industries, which couples the extra pace with an 87 mile range in city traffic and can be quick charged in around an hour.
To make the most of its range, smart has developed an iPhone application that turns the smartphone into an optimised trip computer and navigation device. Used with the optional cradle, this offers hands-free calling, music streaming and internet radio, as well as showing destinations within its range, taking topography into account.
The car will even optimise its charging cycle to be as efficient as possible depending on departure time. Drivers can then be notified by e-mail or Twitter when the car is carrying enough charge to cover the journey.
New models are marked out by a larger radiator grille with the electric drive logo, new LED daytime running lights and wider door sills. For the first time, electric drive models will be available in the full range of colour options.
The third generation smart fortwo electric drive will be unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.