WHIRRED UP (some text hidden)
By Jonathan Crouch
smart is making electric mobility more attractive and proof is found in the form of this fortwo EQ electric drive citycar. Jonathan Crouch checks it out.
Ten Second Reviewword count: 75
If ever there was a car that was a perfect fit for electric propulsion, it's a smart fortwo, now only available in Zero Emissions form. Tiny, lightweight and geared to the urban environment, this was one of the very earliest electric cars offered and in its latest EQ form, gets a standard on-board charger for quicker battery replenishment. For urban folk, it's still one of the very best options in this part of the market.
Backgroundword count: 135
The internal combustion engine has been the linchpin of the automotive industry from the word go and it's hard to envisage a time when it won't be. We've come a long way together after all. The problem, as you've probably heard, is one of pollution, greenhouse effects, rising sea levels, melting icecaps and sweaty polar bears. The internal combustion engine, it transpires, isn't the most environmentally friendly of man's creations, not when used on the vast and expanding scale it is today. So what's the alternative? The simple answer is that we don't have a viable one, yet. Although cars like the smart fortwo EQ are attempting to change that. smart has been offering battery-powered versions of this model for a decade now and this, as you might expect, is the most sophisticated one yet.
Driving Experienceword count: 238
Around town, this smart's driving characteristics are as agile and lively as ever, aided by an ultra-small turning circle of just 6.95 metres. 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 fortwo 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 a 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 fortwo 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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