Daimler: Next-Generation Smart for Two Electric Car Won’t Debut in U.S. Until 2017

Last July, Daimler officially unveiled the next-generation of the Smart ForTwo city car at a special event in Germany, announcing at the same time the return of a four-seat variant of the Smart ForTwo called the Smart ForFour.

The Smart ForTwo won't arrive in electric form in the U.S. until 2017.

The Smart ForTwo won’t arrive in electric form in the U.S. until 2017.

At the time, Daimler promised buyers a choice of two different internal combustion engines for the European 2014 launch, with a third due in the few months after. While internal-combustion engine Smarts were given new drivetrains and engines however, we were told that an all-electric version of the all-new models wouldn’t appear for another year or so, with Daimler continuing to sell the outgoing Smart ForTwo Electric Drive as a stop-gap measure until then.

Now, thanks to AutomotiveNews, we’ve learned that delay will be longer than we initially thought, with the next-generation plug-in Smart ForTwo not due to debut until 2017 at the earliest.

That means, the new Smart ForTwo Electric Drive will likely premiere as a 2018 model-year car, not a 2017 model year car as previously thought.

Quoting sources at the automaker, AutomotiveNews reports that the redesigned next-generation Smart ForTwo will go on sale this November, replacing the outgoing 2015 model year car. But while Europe will get to benefit from the four-seat ForFour model, Smart USA has decided demand for a tiny four-seat city car isn’t high enough to justify homologation.

That means any Smart fans in the U.S. will have to be content with just one all-new Smart car for the next year or so: the ForTwo, complete with a turbocharged three-cylinder 898cc engine producing 89 horsepower driving a five-speed manual transmission or six-speed dual-clutch automatic.

Fans of the all-electric Smart ForTwo will have to be content with the current model for another two years.

Fans of the all-electric Smart ForTwo will have to be content with the current model for another two years.

Those wanting an all-electric version will have to be content with the current 2015 model year car for another two years.

Offering an EPA-approved 68 miles of range per charge at a combined fuel economy of 107 MPGe, the 2015 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive is available in both cabriolet and coupe versions, making it the only electric car to be on sale in the U.S. right now with an optional soft top.

With no DC fast charge capability and an on-board charger limited to just 3.3 kilowatts, the Smart ForTwo is best suited to those who need an affordable, nimble, second vehicle for commuting or running errands. But with some dealers offering lease deals as low as $139 per month for 36 months with $1,433 due at signing,


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  • Chris O

    Quite the eyesore…At least it won’t debut in the US until 2017.

    • vdiv

      Yeah, it looks more like the iQ. Hopefully it is better in person.

  • jeffsongster

    Sad they are pushing it back… I fear it will have a harder time in market flooded with higher range cars 150+ in 2018. Unless they can cut the price more by then it will likely not matter.

    • TedKidd

      Maybe it’ll have more range too. Don’t think they’ll sell many if it doesn’t.

      • I have a Tesla and a Smart ED. Both are amazing cars and perfect for their intended function.
        Tesla is awesome for road trips and family travel.

        Smart ED is perfect for my short city commute, it does not need more range, the (relatively) small temperature controlled battery is all it needs. Driving more than 120 km in this little car in one day is not something I wanted or needed to do. Most house holds in North America have two cars and one of them could be a Smart ED…

        Note : My Smart ED has not lost ANY range in the 12000km and almost two years of driving, the battery is exceptionally well controlled/managed.

        • TedKidd

          It does not need more range for YOU. Kind of absurd to extrapolate that to the general marketplace unless you think the marketplace for SMART is people who can afford to also have an $80,000 first car.

          • I just outlined above that the VAST MAJORITY of households own two cars in US/CAN and therefore can get a Smart ED to replace one of these cars, the other car need not be a Tesla (but it’s awesome when it is).
            Again, the Smart ED does not need more range, that was my point!

    • Smart markets the car as a city commuter, and it’s perfectly suited to that. Why oh why do you feel the need to reposition this car against cars with longer range? Do they cost as little, no. Do they park as easily, no. The list goes on, it’s just exactly what people like me need, a small commuter car with good range.
      If we want to road trip, we take our Tesla. It’s that simple. Different cars for different needs.
      Smart should keep the electric drive model as inexpensive as possible with 120km of range, if batteries get cheaper, good, just keep the same kWh of storage and lower the price of the car.

      • jeffsongster

        I agree but feel that the price better come down sooner on the little city cars like Smart and iMiev. They are fine cars for some. Most folks will not buy them however when the delta between them and the 200 mile cars is small.