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Thread: Car and Driver on ED
07-28-2011, 11:33 PM #1
Car and Driver on ED
Your narrator, the man who is about to pass judgment on the transportation module pictured here, never even drove it home from the office, much less on a road trip during which he would encounter useful insights about the electric-powered Smart ED’s handling. And, yes before we go any farther, this car has an “ED” sticker on each flank. Just settle down with your Cialis quips. We’ve heard them (or made them) all already. It stands for “Electric Drive,” okay?
And drive it does, in a manner. It hums to 60 mph in 23.4 seconds, by which point it has already covered more than a quarter-mile of perfectly good pavement. The Smart ED is nearly as quick as a 1981 Chevrolet Chevette diesel (21.2 seconds). And that car had the word “vette” right in its name. The Smart does not. Like the Chevette, though, the Smart ED is rear-wheel drive.
We were mentioning how little we drove the ED, but that’s not really true. Cumulatively, we did cover some miles and used up some of our lives operating this thing. We just did it in spurts, is all. We took it to lunch every day for a week. And yes, people laughed at us. To keep ourselves entertained, we investigated how much of our lunch commute we could perform at absolute full throttle. Turns out, most of it could be handled in this fashion. In fact, if you are not actively on the brakes, you’ll likely have it floored. Another upside: You’ll use the car’s full performance potential (40 horsepower in this case) more often than you will in any other form of transport you’re likely to operate.
Did you know that the new Smart ED was created from a human baby’s first laugh? It’s true.
When a member of our illustrious track-testing team brought the performance-results sheet to our desk, we admit that we snickered until we saw the braking perform*ance number. “Holy cow!” we said. “It stopped in 131 feet?! That’s better than a ZR1. That’s awesome—wait, what?” Turns out, the Smart ED is not actually fast enough to stop. It’s governed to a top speed of 63 mph, and our standard brake test is from 70 mph to standstill. So we did it from 60 mph because, well, it doesn’t actually matter.
The lesson here is that not only is the ED’s range insufficient for those of us with lengthy daily commutes, it also would turn us into a rolling chicane. And we’ve got enough problems already. According to the EPA, the Smart ED’s range is 63 miles, but you can literally watch the charge from the 16.5-kWh, Tesla-sourced lithium-ion battery drain away after a brief, maxed-out expressway stint. Smart promises that in 2012, it will begin selling a version of the ED with batteries developed in a joint venture between Daimler and Bosch.
We took the Smart ED for a couple of terrifying trips on an expressway posting a speed limit higher than the Smart’s. The less said of this, the better. Except we note, with some pride, that we actually managed to pass a ’90s Buick LeSabre. That the Buick driver was possibly not entirely conscious at the time is not our fault.
Oh, another upside: Because the ED’s transmission is a single-speed, direct-drive arrangement, you won’t have to endure the brutal wallops delivered with every shift of the gas version’s automated manual.
So there you have it. With the ED, Smart has finally made its runabout into the golf cart that it has always wanted it to be. Well, except without room for your clubs. What do you think this is? A Nissan Leaf?
It is not a Leaf. A Leaf is quicker, faster, has a longer range, and feels remarkably like an automobile that non-clowns might drive. You can also buy a Leaf; you can only lease a Smart ED. And, oh, at $599 per month (plus $2500 down on a four-year lease), the Smart ED is also more expensive than the Leaf. Smart notes in its press materials that there is not currently a waiting list for the 250 EDs it intends to unload in the U.S.
Source: http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...take_road_test-President of the Smart car Connecticut chapter.
-Any man who drives a smart car is very, very secure with themselves and does not feel that they need to compensate.
-It's nice to have over a thousand people come up to your car in amazement and take pictures and ask questions and have these incredible looks when they see the NOS bottle or the purge setup. It makes everything I've done worth it.
07-29-2011, 08:09 AM #2
Hilarious article, thanks for sharing. It is all true, I think the specs and especially the price of the ED is ridiculous and hate that the smart name is on that thing. The smart brand has a hard enough time getting positive reviews from professional auto journalist as it is. I am posting all of this in hopes that Daimler sees this (and probably more rants) from smart owners about what a mistake they are making with this one. I do like the green they come in though.
08-12-2019, 02:00 AM #3
Car and Driver on ED
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