In a drag race challenge between a Smart EV, a Ford Mustang, Audi A5, and Porsche Boxster, which car do you think might win? If you guessed the diminutive Smart, then we hope you didn’t put any money on that bet; unsurprisingly, the city car is thoroughly trounced, which you’d think would be an odd sales strategy for Smart itself to use. However, Smart has in mind a different type of drag race.
The video is the handiwork of Smart Canada, and is intended to show the practical benefits of electric drivetrains. Sure, the two-seater may be left in the dust behind its gas-powered rivals, but not when you only consider the very first section of the race.
As Smart sees it, when you’re dashing around the city the most important thing is that immediate torque from the starting line. Consider the end of the drag race to be just five meters from that point, and all of a sudden the tiny car starts to look more useful.
As we’ve found ourselves when testing EVs and plug-in hybrids, an electric motor’s ability to push out the entirety of its torque immediately makes for a very different driving style. Certainly, it can make the difference between getting stuck in one lane or dashing out to cut in front of another car.
The target audience for Mustangs and Porsches probably isn’t going to be convinced to swap their keys, but Smart needs all the help it can get convincing North American urban drivers to at least consider its car.
That’ll get easier when the redesigned Smart arrives, though while that’ll be in later this year for Europe, the new ForTwo won’t arrive in the US until the fall of 2015. Even then, there’s no guarantee that the EV version will be included in the line-up; North American drivers are already going to miss out on the four-seater Smart ForFour, for instance, which will be a European exclusive.