Speak EV - Electric Car Forums banner

Should Smart bring back the Roadster as an EV?

  • Yes - It'd be great

    Votes: 17 73.9%
  • Yes - It could do well

    Votes: 6 26.1%
  • No - Stupid idea

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No - Good idea, Just not possible in this day and age

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    23
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

Administrator
Joined
11,835 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I think it could be awesome. Like a smaller Tesla Roadster?

I had a Smart Roadster Coupe, most disappointing car I ever owned (not the worst, just the most of a let down) but with an electric motor and no gear-changes it could be amazing?!

Feasible? Doable? DIY only? Good idea, bad idea?! Am I mad and alone thinking this could be a real winner?
 

Super Moderator
Joined
7,460 Posts
Do yo envisage a high performance machine or something the same as the fortwo ED?
 

Super Moderator
Joined
6,338 Posts
The Roadster is the only Smart we have not owned:)鈥︹..

If you could get one to run something like this Fortwo

as an EV I would have on in a heart beat:D
 

Super Moderator
Joined
7,460 Posts
Yeah I think as a high performance car it's something I'd be interested in, but would I want to plunk down 拢40-拢50k on a smart car...?

As a low performance/range car, I'd probably opt for something more practical.
 

Registered
Joined
37 Posts
I think it could be awesome. Like a smaller Tesla Roadster?

I had a Smart Roadster Coupe, most disappointing car I ever owned (not the worst, just the most of a let down) but with an electric motor and no gear-changes it could be amazing?!
Really?! I had a Smart Roadster too, and we absolutely loved it. Maybe because it was my first car, I'm still sentimental about it.

The gearbox was infuriating though.

They have already done electric conversions of it - http://eauto.si/super-piki-smart-roadster-ev/

But with a 鈧16-30k price tag, it's just not worth it sadly.
 

Administrator
Joined
11,835 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Really?! I had a Smart Roadster too, and we absolutely loved it. Maybe because it was my first car, I'm still sentimental about it.
Sadly yes. I drove a Smart Roadster pre-launch (neighbour at the time worked for Smart division in Milton Keynes) and it was really, really good fun. Later on I bought one (after a MINI Cooper S) in Coupe spec, metallic blue with silver "tridion shell"...

Too slow, and the gear changes were just terrible, I mean really, you could boil an egg in the time it took to decide which gear to engage. :( It also leaked, forever, sometimes causing electrical issues (a common issue).

Shame because it was a really cool looking car and had bags of potential to be an economical, fun little sports car.... and electric drive could fix almost all the above issues.

I still have a soft spot for the Roadster, it was such a shame it was such a let down as a "proper car".
 

Registered
Joined
37 Posts
I agree with all those points! I remember the endless days spent trying to dry the thing out!
The auto was so bad I had it in tiptronic all the time, which helped. #rosetinted

I think the real reason for its promise was the clever way it was built to be light as possible - meaning the tiny engine was plenty of juice for it.

Similar principle for improving range/reducing battery size on early EVs really.
 

Administrator
Joined
11,835 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
I once got locked out thanks to water in the BCU, lucky(?!) I had the Coupe which meant I could crawl through the boot hatch and into the car that way. Very dignified for a 6" tall guy having to do that in a packed gym car park!

I think the real reason for its promise was the clever way it was built to be light as possible - meaning the tiny engine was plenty of juice for it.

Similar principle for improving range/reducing battery size on early EVs really.
So much this, small, light, nimble and efficient... it ticked most of the right boxes for "my kind of car" and I believe it could make a cracking EV if they wanted to. Surely?!
 

Registered
Joined
1,995 Posts
We priced up the parts for a conversion of one of these about a year ago. Came out at about 拢15k all in (including car) probably about 拢20k with labour. That was with a 24KWH battery, 7.2KW charger and a approx 80hp/180ftlbs AC motor.

Specs are similar to a top end leaf and would be about half the weight!
 

Administrator
Joined
11,835 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
We priced up the parts for a conversion of one of these about a year ago. Came out at about 拢15k all in (including car) probably about 拢20k with labour. That was with a 24KWH battery, 7.2KW charger and a approx 80hp/180ftlbs AC motor.

Specs are similar to a top end leaf and would be about half the weight!
Did you have a think about what would go where in the vehicle? Coupe or Roadster? Just interested in the packaging aspect of it all.
 

Registered
Joined
1,995 Posts
Did you have a think about what would go where in the vehicle? Coupe or Roadster? Just interested in the packaging aspect of it all.
Yes, Roadster - 24KWH in the space available and keeping weight roughly 50/50 is a big challenge. The motor and drive electronics replace the space taken by the engine. Motor is direct to gearbox however we investigated the possibility of changing the gearbox for one out of a polo due to the gearbox complaints on these. There was also some witchcraft that would need to happen to fit a larger motor in due to issues with drive shaft clearance.

We think that just under half the battery will fit in the rear with the motor in the space taken by radiators, exhaust, fuel tank etc.The rest would go in the front boot. losing around half the space.

Things might change if we were to do it now as battery technology has moved on and we have access to some low profile cells that *might* fit underneath.
 

Registered
Joined
1,995 Posts
this might help you visualise the layout of the car :)

 

Super Moderator
Joined
11,697 Posts
The Roadster had a bad reputation.
I don't think I'd go anywhere near one built on the old platform.

An all new design? Maybe. Depends.

Has anyone given serious thought to converting a Caterham SV?
 

Registered
Joined
1,995 Posts
The Roadster had a bad reputation.
I don't think I'd go anywhere near one built on the old platform.

An all new design? Maybe. Depends.

Has anyone given serious thought to converting a Caterham SV?
No but I'm currently looking at a westfield ;-)
 

Registered
Joined
1,995 Posts
@Paul Almost certainly, not failed to convert a car yet!

Not sure I fancy your chances!
 
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top