X

Smart updates its electric car (pictures)

The 2013 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive shows significant updates over the previous version, such as significantly more power. But most impressive is the incredibly low price.

Wayne Cunningham
Wayne Cunningham reviews cars and writes about automotive technology for CNET's Roadshow. Prior to the automotive beat, he covered spyware, Web building technologies, and computer hardware. He began covering technology and the Web in 1994 as an editor of The Net magazine.
Wayne Cunningham
35823648_FD_SS04.jpg
1 of 10 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
The 2013 model year of the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive represents a significant update, with more power and a lower price. However, the body remains the same, funky-looking little two-seat carriage.
35823648_FD_SS06.jpg
2 of 10 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
Smart says it designed the Fortwo from the beginning to use either an internal combustion engine or electric drive motor. Unusual among small cars, it is rear-wheel-driven. The electric motor sits on the rear axle, while the battery module sits under the floor.
35823648_FD_SS05.jpg
3 of 10 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
There is no rear seat in the Fortwo Electric Drive, but the cabin is reasonably spacious for the two passengers it can carry. Coming in shorter than 9 feet, the car is very easy to park.
35823648_FD_SS07.jpg
4 of 10 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
On the Cabriolet version, the cloth top rolls back and bunches up behind the cabin. Roof rails can be manually removed for an open driving experience, or left in place.
35823648_FD_SS08.jpg
5 of 10 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
A standard J1772 charging port sits at the rear right of the car and brings the battery from dead to 100 percent in 6 hours when plugged into a 240-volt source.
35823648_FD_SS09.jpg
6 of 10 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
Although the Fortwo Electric Drive is very short, it offers decent headroom. The seats were comfortable and manually adjustable.
35823648_FD_SS10.jpg
7 of 10 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
This flashy red car had a nice cloth treatment over interior surfaces. There aren't a lot of tech options available, but Smart covers the basics, and includes a telematics system for monitoring charging.
35823648_FD_SS11.jpg
8 of 10 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
The steering uses electric power boosting, but it requires some effort to turn the wheel. The instrument cluster holds an analog speedometer and a simple LCD for trip information.
35823648_FD_SS13.jpg
9 of 10 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
The ignition sits behind the drive selector. Drive modes are kept simple, with Park, Reverse, Neutral, and Drive.
35823648_FD_SS14.jpg
10 of 10 Wayne Cunningham/CNET
This optional navigation system was a bit slow under route navigation, and it had a tough time keeping up with the actual location of the car.

More Galleries

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera
A houseplant

My Favorite Shots From the Galaxy S24 Ultra's Camera

20 Photos
Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra
magic-v2-2024-foldable-1383

Honor's Magic V2 Foldable Is Lighter Than Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra

10 Photos
The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum
Samsung Galaxy S24

The Samsung Galaxy S24 and S24 Plus Looks Sweet in Aluminum

23 Photos
Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design
The Galaxy S24 Ultra in multiple colors

Samsung's Galaxy S24 Ultra Now Has a Titanium Design

23 Photos
I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites
img-0368.jpg

I Took 600+ Photos With the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max. Look at My Favorites

34 Photos
Do You Know About These 17 Hidden iOS 17 Features?
Invitation for the Apple September iPhone 15 event

Do You Know About These 17 Hidden iOS 17 Features?

18 Photos
AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?
img-1599-2.jpg

AI or Not AI: Can You Spot the Real Photos?

17 Photos