The little permanent magnet AC synchronous motor that could.
Do you remember the Brabus Ultimate E Concept from 2017? It was an all-electric pocket-rocket with an impressive output of 201 bhp (150 kilowatts) and 258 pound-feet (350 Newton-metres) of torque, capable of accelerating from a standstill to 62 mph (0-100 kmh) in just 4.5 seconds. The study was pretty much a demonstration of what the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive could achieve with a little help from performance specialists.
Well, the stock machine is nothing close to this little monster. In fact, a factory Smart EV from the very first generation of the model had just - behold! - 41 bhp (30 kilowatts). The third generation, however, was significantly reworked and had a peak output of 74 bhp (55 kW) and a maximum torque of 96 pound-feet (130 Newton-metres).
This brings us to the topic of this article. It’s for purely scientific purposes (obviously!) and is inspired by a new video from The Fast Lane Truck channel on YouTube. The task is simple - can a Smart Fortwo Electric Drive tow a truck? Or two trucks? Actually, three trucks?
For this experiment, the team used a slightly modified version of the third-gen Smart EV. Thanks to an aftermarket module, it delivers 89 bhp (66 kW) and 115 lb-ft (156 Nm), which is a healthy upgrade over the stock figures.
The rules are simple. The trucks need to go in Neutral as if there’s a technical issue and they can’t continue under their own power, just continue free-rolling. The little EV is the saviour here for a traditional flat tow. Can it succeed? Watch the video at the top of this page to find out.