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November 16, 2012

10 Ways the 2013 smart fortwo Electric Drive has Gotten Smarter


SmartLaunchPM-201. The smart fortwo has stayed the same size and same shape with some updated editions. The smart electric drive stands five feet tall and wide and is a smidgen under nine feet long.  It may be small but the view is big! The coupe has an expansive panoramic see-through panel of high-strength polycarbonate; the cabriolet has an automatic soft top that can be opened to any position and at any speed. Plus, the cabriolet has a heated glass rear window.

2. There’s an offering of over 6,000 combos for customizing the smart with everything from personalized wraps and brilliant paint choices to AMG cladding or bespoke tailored interiors.

3. Mercedes-Benz took over smart in July of 2011 and has added new muscle to the marketing campaigns. Expect to see more quirky ads on everything from twitter to TV. More importantly, it’s working. Tracey Matura, smart General Manager, explained, “The company has been riding high since last year.  Sales have increased 120% month over month, and 95% year to date.”
4. No guessing on how and when to charge your smart. The smart electric drive can communicate with the smart vehicle homepage whenever the car is being charged. Real-time data provides information to owners about usage patterns, power draw and vehicle performance. There is also a smart phone app that gives the user charging information, charge time remaining and expected completion time. When you are driving, the app’s map also highlights nearby charging connections with estimated distance.

5. The electric smart can be charged from any 110-volt household wall socket with the provided standard cable or a 240-volt socket (like the ones used for electric clothes dryers and kitchen ranges).  Charging time can run as little as 3 ½ hours to charge from 20 to 80 percent and six hours to reach full charge from a depleted battery.

6. Now in its third generation, the smart electric drive’s 55-kilowatt electric motor provides 35 kilowatts of continuous power (130 Nm of torque). Essentially, it boils down to this: the power provides acceleration from zero to 60 mph in less than 12 seconds, and a top speed of more than 78 mph. Estimated distance on a full charge is about 90 miles!

 7. The smart is environmentally friendly. Designed to be 85% recyclable and over 95% reclaimable, it is produced in the environmentally oriented “smartville” factory in Hambach, France.
8. Interior space is not compromised. “The styling was always meant to incorporate a power train thus there’s no compromise in space in the interior,” said Haiko Schmidt, Product Manager.
Because of its impressive headroom, sloping windshield, floating dash and open roof, even people well over six feet don’t feel cramped. Yes, it’s true! I drove with a tall Texan a few years back and he wasn’t stooping.

9. The price is competitive. The new generation smart electric drive will retail at $25,000. A companion cabriolet model will retail at $28,000 when both vehicles hit the U.S. market in the spring of 2013. Customers may also be eligible for federal tax credits (which run up to $7,500) or state/local tax credits, further reducing the cost. Plus, some states offer a 50% parking discount.

10. Those rumors of a smartforfour? As Matura quipped, “Stay tuned!”

Holly Reich


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