For that kind of money, it really needs to make a difference, since it’s equivalent to 10% of the price of a used electric Smart.
The 2015 Smart Electric is not a fast EV, with 75 horsepower on tap, it is quoted as being able to sprint from naught to sixty in 10.9 seconds. You can, apparently, make it faster, by installing a piggyback power module made by a company called Steinbauer.
TFL Car tested the $700 power box whose claims are that it releases 20 percent more power and torque from the Smart’s motor, as well as increasing the strength of the regenerative braking. The installation process is relatively simple, but if you’re not comfortable with re-pinning connectors, you may want to ask a specialized car electrician to do it for you.
In this video, the installation cost $70 and it took a professional about 30 minutes to accomplish. But was it worth the effort and cost of the kit?
Well, they tested the electric Smart with the mod disabled, and recorded an average time of 9.94 seconds to sixty (over three runs). With the power box plugged in, that dropped to 9.19 seconds, also the average of three runs.
They did point out, though, that this difference in sprint time didn’t tell the whole story. Apparently, between 20 and about 35 mph, it feels quite a big quicker than before. And even during the timed sprints, with the power tune enabled, it didn’t feel all that much quicker from naught to about 20 mph.
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