Since 2007, Smart has always offered an all-electric option in its model range. Now, with its facelifted EQ ForTwo and EQ ForFour line-up set to be launched at the upcoming Frankfurt motor show, it becomes the world's first automotive manufacturer to switch from combustion engines to electric powertrains across the board.
The revised design incorporates several styling cues from the ForEase and ForEase+ concepts shown at the 2018 Paris motor show and 2019 Geneva motor show respectively. Trimmed down to the essentials, the cars get a new fascia that features a conspicuous mesh grille flanked by optional LED headlights and a revised bumper. At the rear, the new models get updated taillights with the familiar rhombic design and made up of “hundreds of elaborately arranged” LED lighting elements. “The new smart is radically simple. We orchestrated the typical smart identity with the new faces”, says Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer of Daimler AG. “In line with the smart DNA, we lower the grille and the headlamps above it and in this way create a sporty, progressive appearance.”
The revised interior also gets expanded stowage options and a re-designed user interface featuring smartphone integration and other digital features. The smart EQ control app and the "ready to“ services make getting status information about the car, electric charging, finding parking and getting directions, all easy tasks.
For all the cosmetic and technological updates, the powertrain has oddly been left unchanged. The electric motor develops a relatively paltry 60kW (80 horsepower) and 160Nm of torque and is powered by a 17.6 kWh lithium-ion battery. The range remains a measly 159 kilometres on a single charge, which takes about 40 minutes to get to 80 per cent from 10 per cent if done with the optional 22kW on-board charger. A regular domestic socket can charge it in just over 3.5 hours.
Prices for the new Smart range haven’t been announced yet, but given the absence of powertrain upgrades the tag isn’t going to look too different from that of the outgoing model either.