Auto blogSun, 24 Jun 2012
In a blink-and-you'd-miss-it announcement during an event in Berlin, the head of marketing and sales for Smart, Martin Hülder, told us that the third model in the Smart e-Mobility range - after the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive and eBike - will be the Smart electric scooter (or "smart scooter"). To be fair, the original announcement happened in mid-May at a shindig in Davos, Switzerland, but Daimler had some new news for us in Berlin.
The stylish two-wheeler was first shown at the 2010 Paris Motor Show but was whisked into limbo from there, presumably to end up a no-go along with several previous ideas from the traditionally cash-burning company. Instead, the scooter has gotten the green light and the United States is a key market for it.
To rehash the features of the silent plug-in runabout, a 48-volt lithium-ion battery pack stored down low behind your feet supplies juice to a 4-kW (i.e. 5.4 horsepower) wheel-hub electric motor at the rear wheel. Top speed is listed at 45 km/h or 28 mph - a choice by Smart that allows the scooter to be driven on streets in many countries before one has a driver's license.
The minds at Smart USA took to Twitter to make a point about the manufacturer's tridion safety cell recently. Clayton Hove, who runs a snarky blog about advertising, joked that he "Saw a bird had crapped on a Smart Car. Totaled it," leaving the door wide open for Smart to work up a response. And respond the automaker did.
Smart USA fired off a tweet of its own, complete with an infographic (click above to enlarge) depicting exactly how much bird excrement it would take to damage the vehicle's safety cell. According to Smart, the structure can withstand up to 9,000 pounds of pressure, which equates to around 4.5 million pigeon droppings.
Smart didn't stop at just doing the math. The company worked up a handy infographic to break down exactly how many turkey or emu droppings would do the same damage. Turns out those numbers are 360,000 and 45,000, respectively. Hilarious. Check out Smart Twitter account to see the original exchange.
This must be a first: Smart has named its latest special edition ForTwo after a shampoo. Not really, but clearly someone at Daimler did not do due diligence (or use Google) before dreaming up the Iceshine moniker.
The Smart ForTwo Iceshine is a special edition based on the model's Passion trim level, while Ice Shine is a variety of Pantene. Coming in white and a special azure blue, the vehicular Iceshine matches those exterior colors with white alloys and white mirrors to give the Smartfortwo a positively twenty-five year-old feel. Other equipment includes LED daytime running lamps, "leather effect" seats, and a three-spoke leather steering wheel. Interior trim is done up in - you guessed it - white, including the rings around the Fortwo's instrumentation. Frankly, we're finding all of this about as exciting as washing your hair.
Smart will be looking to push only 1,800 of these onto the German market, starting at just over $18,000 for the coupe and roughly $22,000 for the convertible.
If given the choice, we'd grab the keys to an all-electric Smart ForTwo way before its gasoline-powered sibling, if for no other reason than it would mean we wouldn't have to put up with that horrid automated manual transmission. But such faint praise isn't really fair to the Brabus Electric Drive. After all, it's got 80 horsepower on tap, which is plenty for the little urban runabout, and its 100 pound-feet of torque ought to be available from zero rpm.
Brabus has also seen fit to lower the Smart ED 10 millimeters closer to the pavement, which, along with the 16-inch front and 17-inch rear monoblock wheels, should improve the way it handles. Less convincing an upgrade is the onboard sound generator... though perhaps one strategically pulled fuse might make short work of that oversight.
Feel free to peruse the press release below, but not before checking out our high-res image gallery of live photos from the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
Daimler's Smart minicar division will unveil both a battery-electric version of the Smart Brabus special-edition line and a Smart Brabus electric bike at the Geneva Motor Show this year.
The Smart Brabus electric drive Fortwo will be available in 12 countries by the end of the year. Parent company Daimler notes the model will include touches such as 17-inch alloy wheels, an "electric green" interior. The diminutive runabout will deliver about 80 horsepower, though the German automaker hasn't specified a single-charge range.
Meanwhile, Smart's Brabus ebike will have an electric motor that will deliver 500 watts of power, enough for a top speed of 25 miles per hour. It will also be available at Smart dealers by the end of the year. Smart isn't disclosing pricing on either the Brabus ForTwo EV or the new ebike but you can see both in our gallery.