The best thing about the Smart ED is that it does away with the single most objectionable part of the car, that funky "automatically shifted manual" transmission. The problem is it "automatically shifts" badly, giving the car a weird, wobbly seasickness-inducing quality.
With an electric motor, there's no need for five speeds. This car has a nice, smooth one-speed transmission and it works just fine all the way from zero to the car's top speed of 78 miles an hour. (Really, would you want to go faster in a car this small?) While the car's promised zero-to-60 time of 11.5 seconds sounds pathetic compared to other cars, it feels fine in keeping up with around-town traffic. A computer-controlled system that provides a brief burst of "peak power" helps with passing.
The redesigned pony car will offer better fuel economy, an improved ride and better handling, Ford says.