2013 Smart Electric Drive: Drive Video From NY Auto Show

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We didn't expect the fluorescent green, that's for sure.

But it probably helped us on our half-hour drive around crowded midtown Manhattan in the new 2013 Smart ForTwo Electric Drive, the latest all-electric version of the little two-seat Smart car.

With the lithium-ion battery pack in the sandwich floor and the electric traction motor replacing the gasoline engine under the rear deck, the electric Smart has just as much room in it as a regular one.

Which is to say, two adult men fit fine--although if one of them is not only 6'5" but also carrying a video camera, some of the angles get a little funky.

The electric Smart has none of the jerking and bucking that the gasoline version, with its automatic manual transmission does. In fact, it has no transmission at all.

That makes it quiet, smooth, and considerably more comfortable around town than the gasoline Smart.

In fact, in some ways--as we say on the video--we think it's the car the Smart really should have been all along.

The range, for those who are wondering, is rated by the EPA at 68 miles--more than the Mitsubishi i-MiEV's 62 miles, but less than the 2013 Nissan Leaf at 75 mph.

Our video couldn't really show you the acceleration out the window, but you will hear the lack of noise and fuss even under full throttle.

You'll also hear some honking from the car next to us (at about 1:28), which is Subaru's communications staff rolling down their windows to point at us in our little lime-green Smart.

Because we started right outside the New York Auto Show, they were hardly the only ones.

We liked the 2013 Smart Electric Drive, and when it goes on sale next month, it will be the least expensive plug-in electric car sold in the U.S.

Prices begin at $25,750 for the hardtop and $28,750 for the Cabriolet, which has a folding cloth roof. Both prices are before any incentives, and include the mandatory delivery fee.

For more details on the electric 2013 Smart, see our first drive report from last November.

And as always, leave us your thoughts on the video in the Comments below.

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