Daimler’s Smart brand is clearly plugging into battery power. The maker’s new ED – short for Electric Drive – has just gone on sale here in the U.S. And at the Geneva Motor Show, next week, Smart will offer a hint of where it might plan to take the technology going forward.
The intriguing news is that the Smart ForSpeed puts as much of a premium on performance as it does on energy efficiency. The lithium-ion-powered two-seater reportedly can launch from 0 to 60 (kilometers an hour, that is) in just 5.5 seconds. Getting to 60 mph takes just under 9 seconds.
The concept relies on a compact 41-horsepower electric motor. That might not seem like much but it helps to realize that electric propulsion generates maximum torque the moment the motor starts spinning. But there’s also a “boost” switch on the center console that unleashes an extra 7 horsepower when you’re really hoping to burn rubber.
Smart anticipates a top speed of 75 mph for the ForSpeed and, if you’re a bit less aggressive with the throttle, range of about 85 miles. A quick charger, it claims, can yield an 80% recharge in as little as 45 minutes.
The ultra-thin seats come with four-point belts to keep you firmly in place when you’re challenging that old-style muscle car in the next lane, by the way.