Smart is hoping its 10th year in the U.S. market will be better than its ninth. In 2017, the Mercedes-Benz sub-brand posted fewer than 3100 Fortwo microcars, its worst numbers yet. To forget 2017, Daimler’s little runabout gains a 10th Anniversary Edition to reflect on what was and what may never again be.
For the 2018 Fortwo Electric Drive coupe, this limited-edition package includes the contents of Smart’s Sport package (16-inch black wheels, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and stainless-steel pedals) along with unique two-tone Brabus rims, Brabus floor mats, and new interior stitching. The monochrome exterior renders everything, including the grille, in a deep Sapphire Blue Metallic, instead of the funky neon two-tones the Smart normally wears in a mostly vain attempt to gain attention. Anniversary badging and a $1950 price complete the deal, for a grand total of $28,090.
Special-edition Fortwo coupes like this are restricted to the mid-level Passion and top Prime trims, and remember, all U.S.-bound 2018 Smart cars drop their three-cylinder gasoline engines for electric powertrains. The automaker states that the coupe is capable of a sizzling 11.4-second zero-t0-60-mph time and an EPA-estimated driving range that at that speed will be exhausted before an hour is over.
It’s hard to see what Smart is out to celebrate. Sales are down 88 percent from the high in 2008, when the brand moved nearly 25,000 units. Despite a few respites of 10,000-plus sales in 2009, 2012, and 2014, Smart never recovered as gas prices declined and much larger cars began posting superior fuel-economy ratings. Last year, Smart’s 85 dealers—most adjoining Mercedes-Benz showrooms—sold just 3071 cars. The latest Fortwo isn’t even competitive against other electric cars. At this point in the brand’s history, maybe blue is the right hue.