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New Smart ForTwo and ForFour Electric Drive EVs whizz into Paris 2016

Smart reveals electric versions of latest Fortwo, Fortwo cabrio and Forfour, with 100-mile range and a charging time as low as 45 minutes.

The Smart fortwo and forfour electric drive models have been unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, making the small cars even more suited to city driving. The Smart Electric Drive powertrain will launch in early 2017, and will be available for the fortwo, fortwo cabrio and forfour. In fact, the addition of the electric powertrain to the open top car makes it the only electric convertible on sale.

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Mounted under the boot floor like the smart’s petrol engine, the three-phase motor produces 80bhp and 160Nm of torque through the rear wheels. That’s enough to power the hard-top Fortwo from 0-62mph in 11.5 seconds, and the Forfour in 12.7 seconds. Top speed for all variants is limited to 81mph. 

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The Fortwo offers the best range of 100 miles, with the cabrio and Forfour reducing that to 96 miles.  That’s only marginally improved on the previous electric smart’s range of 90 miles, however. Neat tech to boost the range includes a radar-based energy recuperation system, which monitors traffic and adjusts the level of regenerative braking accordingly.

The lithium-ion battery can be charged from 20 to 100 per cent in 2.5 hours from a wallbox, with that time increasing to six hours if a household socket is used - that’s 40 per cent faster than the old car. In 2017, Smart will offer a powerful 22kw fast charger as an option, allowing a full charge in just 45 minutes where three-phase charging is applicable.

Smart also offers you a choice for the Electric Drive’s exterior look.  If you desire, it can look exactly the same as the standard car, with only badging to mark it out. But there’s also an option to have the safety cell and door mirrors in electric green, while the Brabus personalisation programme is also available.

Inside, the standard instrument cluster is replaced by a dash display showing power levels and battery status. Standard kit includes a smartphone app that allows you to pre heat and cool the car, and control charging remotely.  Options include a heated steering wheel in the ‘Winter pack’.

No official UK prices have been announced for the Smart Electric Drive range yet. In Germany, it starts from €23,459 (£20,136) after a government grant. We can expect more details to come after the Paris reveal.

Find out about the best electric cars on sale now...

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