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.
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.
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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