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Smart has revealed its 2017 electric drive range. The fourth-generation battery-powered Smart – available in fortwo, fortwo cabrio and forfour bodystyles – will make its debut at the Paris Motor Show next week. The market launch will start in the in December for the US and early 2017 for Europe.

With this, Smart says that it’s the only brand worldwide to offer its entire range with the choice of internal combustion engines or electric drive. The fortwo cabrio electric drive is the only battery-powered convertible in the market, too.

Daimler has a partnership with EV champs Renault-Nissan Alliance, and this range shares French-made electric internals with the Renault Zoe. A 60 kW (81 hp) electric motor sits at the rear and transmits power via a single fixed gear ratio to the wheels – no gear changing needed. To reverse, the motor’s direction of rotation changes.

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160 Nm of torque from standstill guarantees lively performance. That same number appears in the range column – approximately 160 km (100 miles) on a full charge in the European NEDC cycle. Max speed is electronically limited to 130 km/h for this city car.

An ECO mode softens the gas pedal and maximises energy recuperation. There’s also radar-based recuperation, which is active in the basic transmission mode, and is anticipatory. The traffic situation is monitored with a radar sensor and a recuperation level that suits the current situation is selected. To save energy and extend the range, the cars also features pre-entry climate control, which enables the desired cabin temperature to be reached while the vehicle is still charging.

The latter can be done via the “smart control” app, which also lets one access info and status of the car remotely via smartphone or computer. Besides climate control, intelligent charging and programmable departure times can also be set this way.

Charging time is an important factor for EV customers and the new Smart range is improved in this area. All models come with a new and more powerful on-board charger, which does its job in 2.5 hours in the US and UK – half as long as for its predecessor. In Germany, where a different charger is needed due to single-phase alternating current, the Smart electric drive can be charged 40% faster than before at a household socket.

From 2017 a particularly powerful 22 kW fast charger will be available as an option. This enables the smart electric drive to be charged in as little as 45 minutes.

The Smart electric drive models come with additional dashboard instruments which show a power meter and battery status display. The optional electric drive design package gives the vehicle a unique look with tridion safety cell and door mirror caps painted in electric green. There’s also a Brabus tailor made individualisation programme, shown here on the cabrio.

“The smart is the perfect city car, and with electric drive it becomes a little bit more perfect,” said Annette Winkler, head of Smart. Hard to disagree, really.

GALLERY: Smart fortwo electric drive


GALLERY: Smart fortwo cabrio electric drive

GALLERY: Smart forfour electric drive