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Smart Fortwo

Smart Fortwo Electric Drive e-car

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Cabin fever

Inside, the ED is identical to the other models in the range apart from the battery status and charge/depletion gauges that occupy the circular dash-mounted modules that usually house the clock and tachometer.

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If you want rear seats and a boot, you've picked the wrong car

For such a small car - the wheelbase is 187cm, the total length 270cm - there is plenty of room for both driver and passenger, and with air conditioning, a 6.5in touchscreen entertainment and navigation system with Micro SD card media slot, and a leather steering wheel the ED is hardly what you'd call spartan.

At 890kg, the ED adds 140kg to weight of the petrol model - the battery pack accounts for 143kg - but the extra weight lowers the centre of gravity to the benefit of both grip and handling. With so little power this is clearly not a performance car but it is extremely stable, even in cross winds, and very agile.

Annoyances such as they are mirror those I’ve encountered in petrol-powered Fortwos. The rear view mirror is a stupid shape and too large - imagine the interociter from This Island Earth stuck upside-down to the windshield and you get the idea - and the gear selector is angled for left-hand drive markets making it impossible to see the selector position indicators from the driver's seat.

Verdict

Even though it’s not a retail-ready product, the Fortwo ED needs no apologies made for it. Sure it may not be the fastest thing on four wheels but up to 30mph it doesn’t embarrass itself and the convenience of gear-less electric motoring combined with body shorter than some cars are wide - well, almost - makes it nigh-on perfect for zipping around city centres. ®

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Smart Fortwo

Smart Fortwo Electric Drive e-car

A tiny electric runabout that may be narrow in body and short on power but still makes sense for urban use.
Price: TBC RRP

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