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New 2013 smart to feature gas and electric drive, bolder styling

The new 2013 smart will be offered in coupe or convertible bodies with a choice of electric or gasoline drive and custom packages add distinction


Green machine
There had been speculation that the smart would be moving to all electric drive. Smart’s New York Auto Show launch today of the 2013 model to be introduced in May 2012 ends that with word that a gasoline drivetrain will also be available. In either configuration the smart is a very green machine. Mercedes claims the 2013 smart will be the most fuel efficient, non-hybrid, gasoline powered car available in the US. Its 70 horsepower engine is mounted cross-wise in the rear of the vehicle to take up minimal space. Making the gasoline powered car fun to drive is an automated manual transmission. The driver shifts the gears, but the clutch is automatic so there are only two pedals. When configured as an electric car, the motor offers 35 kilowatts of continuous power, but has a kick down mode that can bring the motor to a peak of 55kw for a couple of minutes at a time. Bear in mind that this is a city car designed to put its small footprint to good use as a nimble handler. Performance should not be compared to other conventional automobiles. 0-60 is in the 13 seconds range and top speed is about 78 mph.

New aggressive styling
The smart is cute through and through, but to give it a little more of a pugnacious attitude, the 2013 smart will have bolder front and rear aprons, a larger front grill, and side aprons intended to make the car seem more muscular. Continuing the rough and ready theme are two special style packages. The BRABUS sport package offers a more boisterous exhaust, even bolder side skirts, a tightened suspension and custom alloy wheels. Inside the BRABUS package offers special pedals, floor mats and black leather seats. The “sharpred” appearance package lives up to its name. The striking color contrast will feature the tridon safety cell done in red, but the rest of the car in black. Inside the seats and interior trim will be black and red leather or simulated leather with a contrasting red stitching.

Paint is so old fashioned
Rather than a painted steel body, the smart has a tridon steel safety cell. The body is a high quality plastic that has the color molded in. This is great for city parking where door dings and bumps while parking cause frequent damage to conventional cars. Customers can also order their smart with a body wrap that covers the car. 30 choices are available.

The smart line will offer both gas and electric drives with an exciting new look and a wide range of customization options for its city-driving customers.