Thursday, September 12, 2013

Smart FourJoy Electric Drive Concept – Frankfurt Motor Show [Video]

We haven’t seen a whole lot of new stuff from Smart, the tiny car with big fuel economy numbers, and we love that the Smart Electric Drive is one of the cheapest electric vehicles in the US, but can’t we share the love with more than one passenger?
One way Smart keeps fuel consumption low is by allowing just two passengers and a couple of briefcases into the cabin, keeping weight down, reducing the size of the engine.
Surely the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive has the torque and power to carry more than two people? The answer to that question comes in the form of the Smart FourJoy Electric Drive Concept, being shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Here’s a little teaser…

The Smart FourJoy Electric Drive uses the same powertrain, a 55kW electric motor fed by a 17.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack, as the Smart ForTwo Electric Drive. The concept eschews fancy and weighty things, like doors and a solid roof, and looks especially concept-y with lounge-style seating and an iPod mount where a typical shift knob would be.
Of course, without doors, it seems more like a beach buggy, and would surely fail any NHTSA crash tests for typical road-going vehicles. Still, we look forward to a finalized production version [probably with a name like ForFour?] that’ll be a little more crash-worthy and just as efficient.
Smart ForFour, if Smart naming follows the pattern, probably won’t be released in an electric drive version until after the conventional powertrains have proven their success, but I can’t imagine why the Smart ForFour Electric Drive wouldn’t be an instant hit.