Smart's ForTwo Electric Drive has come in for a power boost, but a boost to its chances of an Australian debut remains some time away.
For 2012, the ForTwo Electric Drive does away with its Tesla-developed 16.5kWh battery park, gaining a new 17.6kWh unit from German outfit Deutsche ACCUmotive - and with greater power comes greater performance.
Where the 2010 model delivered 30kW and 120Nm of torque, the 2012 upgrade sees the ForTwo ED offering 55kW and 130Nm.
Thanks to the new figures, the diminutive electric vehicle leaps to 60km/h in five seconds; down from 6.5 seconds, making it quicker than its petrol-powered stablemate.
The 0-100km/h time comes down in 13 seconds, and top speed has increased to 120km/h.
The 2012 ForTwo ED also offers a driving range of up to 140 kilometres off one charge - more than enough for the average urbanite.
On the styling front, the 2012 model remains largely unchanged. There's a wider grille opening, along with a new front bumper and integrated LED Daytime Running Lights. There is also a wider door sill design and a few small tweaks to the rear end.
A local debut for the ForTwo Electric Drive has been on the table for some time, but supply and a lack of infrastructure has so far kept the small EV from Australian shores.
"We're looking at it, absolutely. It won't be in the next year, but it's on the agenda," Mercedes-Benz Australia's David McCarthy told TMR today.
Mr McCarthy pointed to supply and the small Australian EV market as a point of concern.
"It's a bit of both. Obviously the right-hand-drive markets for the Electric Drive are smaller markets, and so that affects supply. But more than that, we really just need to make a business case for the car in Australia."
With the upcoming launch of the Mitsubishi i-MiEV and the Nissan LEAF, along with the Holden Volt plug-in hybrid and a potential debut for Volkswagen's Up city car, the electric landscape in Australia is quickly changing.