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By Jonathan Crouch
smart's all-electric EQ formula also includes its five-door forfour model. Jonathan Crouch checks it out.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 37
We're now well used to the idea of an all-electric smart fortwo. But what if you want all of that car's urban advantages but need more than two seats? That's where this forfour EQ model comes in.
Backgroundword count: 104
The advantages of all-electric cars are well documented, but they can be expensive to buy. That's been part of the enduring appeal of smart's fortwo EQ model which, after government grants, can be yours for just under £17,000. It only has two seats though, which for some urban folk will be unreasonably restrictive. These people may well like the idea of being able to get a five-door 'forfour' version of the same car for less than £500 more. Smart is banking on that anyway. The brand has been offering battery-powered models for a decade now and here, it's delivered its most sophisticated technology yet.
Driving Experienceword count: 231
Around town, this smart's driving characteristics are agile and lively, aided by an ultra-small turning circle. And on the open road? Well how does the thought of 0-60 in 4.8 seconds grab you? Okay, it's 60km/h but, thanks to 160Nm of torque in something this light, it's still respectably quick. 0-62mph takes 11.5s on the way to 81mph flat out. It's certainly brisk enough to be able to sidestep the brake pedal and catapult the little forfour off the line. That it does so without anything in the way of engine noise is even more impressive, the merest whirr of the uprated 60kW (82hp) electric motor accompanying a scarcely perceptible whine from the one-speed transmission. It's all very serene and makes city driving rather stress free. On the highway, you can theoretically reach an 81mph maximum, but this does rather chew the battery's range which, when driven a bit more sedately, can be eked out to up to 100 miles. An indicator on the dashboard lets you know how efficiently you're driving. Needless to say, you'll be tempted to gun it everywhere. It's too much fun not to. With all of the batteries mounted in the sandwich floor, the forfour electric drive has an admirably low centre of gravity and probably corners better than its petrol sibling. The lithium-ion battery's underfloor position is both thermally stable and good for crash protection.
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Category: Hybrid, Plug-in, Electric & Hydrogen
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