First drive Smart EQ Cabri­o­let

The Herald Magazine - - etc DRIVE - JACK EVANS

IN A MO­TOR­ING world quickly con­vert­ing to elec­tric, Smart has been ahead of the game. In fact, it’s the first man­u­fac­turer to an­nounce it would be mov­ing from an all-com­bus­tion en­gine to a ve­hi­cle line-up con­sist­ing of only ful­ly­elec­tric cars. The EQ ForTwo is an all-elec­tric ver­sion of Smart’s iconic two-seater city car.

It makes sense. The ForTwo has al­ways been de­signed as a city car and elec­tric cars ben­e­fit from be­ing used in cities where charg­ing points are more abun­dant than in less pop­u­lated ar­eas. But how does the Smart EQ do as a com­plete pack­age? We lived with it for a week to find out.

If you took the Smart on face value alone, you’d think very lit­tle had changed over the reg­u­lar, petrol-pow­ered ForTwo. The dinky pro­por­tions re­main, the minute turn­ing cir­cle is still de­light­fully present and the bul­bous, rounded looks are in keep­ing with past gen­er­a­tions of Smart cars. But look deeper and you’ll no­tice the smoothed front grille and un­der­neath the petrol cap there’s a charg­ing point rather than space for a fuel noz­zle. Though this may ap­pear like a tra­di­tional Smart, the re­al­ity is far from that.

The Smart gets drive from a three-phase syn­chro­nous mo­tor, linked to a lithium-ion bat­tery. The com­bi­na­tion pro­duces 81bhp, and a de­cent 160Nm of torque. The sprint to 60mph may not be quick at 11.6 sec­onds, but

The new Smart EQ Cabri­o­let is best suited to in­ner-city drives

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