Third-generation of the Smart ForTwo ED coming to the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 17, 2011

Mercedes-Benz’s Smart phase three Fortwo ED will have its world debut at the Frankfurt motor show next month. The automaker has unveiled a significantly revised version of the Smart Fortwo ED, which offers better performance and a wider range.

The compact rear-wheel drive plug-in electric car gets a totally new driveline that is comprised of a high-powered brushless electric motor from Bosch and lithium ion battery that has a higher capacity.

Compared to the phase two Fortwo ED, its peak power is higher by 33bhp to the current 73bhp (from just 40bhp). Its nominal power is higher by 20bhp from 27bhp to 47bhp.

Its torque has increased by 7lb ft to 96lb ft. The improvement in reserves improves the 0-37mph (or 0-60km/h) acceleration time of the new car to 5.0sec (faster by 1.5sec). Its 0-62mph (100km/h) acceleration time was cut to under 13.0sec, while top speed has increased from 62mph to 75mph. The new electric motor gets energy from a new lithium ion battery, which has a higher capacity from the previous 14kWh Telsa produced unit to 17.6kWh.

The new battery is manufactured by Deutsche Accumotive, a Germany-based joint venture between Daimler (Mercedes-Benz parent company) and Evonik (German alternative energy specialist).

The boosted capacity is believed to result to a 16-mile boost in range at 87 miles. Mercedes-Benz said that its nominal recharge time is at eight hours on a standard mains socket.

But when using an on-board 22kW high capacity charger, it can be recharged in less than one hour. The new Smart Fortwo ED will be offered in as many as 30 markets worldwide.

Notably, the phase two version currently offered in the UK was made available in only 18 markets. Production will be increased from a limited 2,000 with the phase two version to more than 10,000 with the new phase three Fortwo ED. In addition, Smart has revealed a plan for its lineup to soon include a new plug-in electric bicycle.

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