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Drive small, think big: Smart enhances its entire lineup with three Electric Drive cars

Smart Automobile gave its gas-powered lineup a much-needed overhaul in 2016. Although we still have a few issues with the diminutive city cars, their revamped powertrains and improved interiors were a breath of fresh air. It has taken awhile for the upgrades to reach Smart’s Electric Drive products, but thankfully, the wait is nearly over.

Smart’s Fortwo, Fortwo Cabrio, and Forfour will all available as electric vehicles for the 2017 model year and each vehicle will ride on the brand’s new-generation platform. Smart says this makes it the only automaker to offer its complete model range in both battery-electric and internal combustion formats. Even though it only produces three cars, there is plenty to be excited about.

“The Smart is the ideal city car, and with electric drive it becomes a little bit more perfect,” CEO Annette Winkler said. “Together with lots of Smart fans and enthusiastic drivers of the predecessor generations, we are looking forward to the unique driving fun offered by the new Smart Electric Drive at very attractive prices, especially in countries where there is a buyer’s premium.”

Each Electric Drive vehicle will be powered by a rear-mounted electric motor co-developed by Mercedes-Benz and Renault-Nissan. The powerplant sends 80 horsepower and 118 pound-feet of torque to the back wheels and given the low weight of Smart’s products, the cars should be pretty zippy. In terms of range, the 17.6kWh lithium-ion battery provides 99 miles of driving distance and can be replenished in about 2.5 hours with a Level 2 (240V) plug and the on-board charger. With a standard 110V outlet, charging times hover around 5.5 hours. Drivers can also monitor battery status from afar with the Smart Control app.

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In terms of cost, we will not know pricing information until closer to the vehicles’ launch, with the Fortwo Electric Drive arriving in spring 2017 and the Cabrio in the summer. Unfortunately, the larger Forfour still is not coming stateside, but we are hoping to get a closer look during its public debut at the 2016 Paris Motor Show in October.

For more from Paris, stay tuned to DT Cars.