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2018 Smart ForTwo Electric: The world's cutest convertible

Charles Fleming, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Automotive News

In past reviews, I've written about the sublime pleasure of driving around Los Angeles in a convertible on a warm, balmy night.

Now I've found a way to make it even more sublime: Add silence.

The Smart ForTwo -- which you'll see in great numbers in any major European capital, but in small numbers in the United States -- is a suitcase-sized two-door designed for intelligent urban living.

The Electric Drive, its battery electric brother, is the smart Smart ForTwo, a plug-in commuter car that is small in stature but large in fuel savings.

With only 57 miles of range between charges, compared with the 238 offered by the Chevy Bolt EV or the 151 on the Nissan Leaf, the Smart ForTwo electric is not going to be the ideal long-distance traveler.

Also offered as a cabriolet, it must be the world's smallest, cutest and most affordable convertible plug-in.

Plus it's so small and light that if it runs out of juice, you can simply sling the shoulder harness over your back and haul the little guy home.

Smart cars first hit the road in the 1990s, as a result of co-design efforts between Mercedes-Benz and the Swatch watch company. After a succession of two-passenger, four-passenger and even roadster variants, the Daimler-owned company settled on the ForTwo model, and later added a battery-electric-vehicle, or BEV, version.

Propelled by a 17.6-kWh battery connected to a 60-kW electric motor, the electric ForTwo is said to produce the equivalent of 80 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque.

On such a small vehicle (it reportedly weighs 2,363 pounds, and is almost cubic in its squat dimensions), that's plenty of pep. The Smart scoots around town capably, and gets quickly up to freeway speed, even in the battery-saving Eco mode.


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