THE sun was out, the sky was blue when a big powerful roadster went flashing by me. “All right for some,” I thought – and then it struck me. I could put the roof down too.
It’s not the first thing you think about when you’re driving a small electric car but this was the smart fortwo from Mercedes-Benz which comes with quite a few neat tricks including a foldaway roof.
I pulled over and looked for the switch. There it was at my fingertips – not hidden among a multitude of dials – and a few seconds later I was queen of the road with the wind just lifting the top of my hair. Result.
The smart fortwo EQ cabrio (the EQ is the Mercedes-Benz designation for its electric range) is a small, quirky looking car with piles of character.
This one was even more funky because it had been handed over to Brabus, the guys who tune the high end Mercedes cars, for a bit more zing and zap than usual.
In the style department it looks far more wicked than the average smartcar in high gloss black and it’s lower than normal with a Brabus front spoiler, side skirts, rear diffuser and fog lamps.
Until now the only smartcars I had seen had been pretty and mostly in white or silver. Here instead was the naughty member of the family ready to take its Brabus styling onto the road.
Inside there was more black with leather upholstery, retro style air vents, Brabus handbrake, pedals and door sills and a small and sporty gearstick lever. There were even nicely trimmed black alloys.
The great thing about this car is that as soon as you switch it on, put it in drive and let loose, it’s off. The electric motor means you get instant power as you head for the hills, or in my case, the shops.
And once there, the parking is a dream. No more Mr Nice Guy for this little demon. He can get into spaces other cars could not even contemplate which makes parking so much more stress free. And should you see someone pull out just behind you, this car will turn on a sixpence. Well, the turning circle is actually 6.95 metres which just about means you can get round and make that space before anyone else.
The range is not bad if you intend, as I did, to nip about locally. You will get 99 miles on one full six-hour charge on a domestic socket and your smart fortwo EQ will take only 40 minutes at one of those fast chargers. This car is green and rapid.
It also very safe in its exclusive tridion safety cell with Active Brake Assist, Hill Start Assist, rear parking sensors, cruise control and five airbags.
With the smartcontrol app you can access it remotely too, check the charge and even warm it up before you get in. The only thing you have to remember is that anything which needs power will also deplete the battery so you have to include these things in your charging regime.
But all that apart it is great fun to drive and anyone who scoffs at electric cars needs to try it. It will make you smile. The smart fortwo is fast becoming a legend.