Smart recently introduced its all-new 2012 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive model, and while the body is small, the changes are big. The biggest change to the 2012 model is a new battery pack, which has resulted in a higher top speed, faster acceleration, and a longer range.

The 2012 Smart Fortwo Electric is now capable of hitting a top speed over 75 miles per hour. While this doesn't seem impressive when compared to almost every other model on the market, the Smart brand caters to city drivers more than highway commuters. Drivers can now safely navigate an interstate road if they need to, but the typical Smart driver rarely encounters such a situation. Perhaps a more relevant change to the third generation Fortwo Electric Drive is the increased 0-60 mph time, Smart's electric now can achieve this speed in less than 13 seconds.

Other small changes to the Smart Fortwo Electric Drive include a larger front-end grille, LED daytime running lights, and slight rear end modifications. The range has also been slightly improved over the second generation, from 83 miles to 86 miles per charge.

The Smart Fortwo Electric Drive is perfect for a driver in a big city. Most drivers have experienced the frustration associated with watching your gas needle drop slowly in stop and go traffic. In addition to wasted fuel, parking can also be a nightmare for many who have to navigate their full size vehicle into a parallel spot on a busy street. Smart's smaller-than-average size leaves something to be desired for those concerned with high-speed crash safety, but slower city roads aren't as risky for people in the tiny car. Given its limited range, this is probably not a car for someone with a lot of driving to do. However, the environmentally conscious driver who does not venture far outside the city will find this car perfect for their daily routine.

Smart has yet to announce pricing guidelines for the third generation 2012 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive. For comparison, the current 2011 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive cabriolet has a base price of $47,650. Smart anticipates producing a high number of the 2012 model, estimating production in the "high five digits." The car will officially debut next month at the Frankfurt Motor Show in Germany.

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Cliff Turner has been an automotive enthusiast ever since high school, where he developed a passion for cars while working for the local Saturn/Hummer dealership. When he isn't writing, he is busy earning his Juris Doctorate at John Marshall Law School in Atlanta.

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