Can An $800 EV Tune Make Our $7,000 Smart Tesla Quick?

If you’re looking for an inexpensive city car to get you from A to B, it’s tough to fault a car like this 2015 Smart ForTwo electric. Most of us in the TFL office have taking a liking to ours, even calling it “Tweety”, for obvious reasons. With just 68 miles of range in stock tune, you’re not going to make any cannonball runs with this car. That said, at just $6,000 for this example, you won’t break the bank either.

Compared to a gasoline-powered Smart ForTwo of the same vintage, this car actually does feel pretty peppy. Despite that, it’s not out-and-out quick, but can a relatively straightforward tune fix that? Let’s find out.

Smart ForTwo Electric Drive

Making the Smart ForTwo EV quicker

Enter Steinbauer, who actually does produce a tuning module for the Smart ForTwo electric drive. They claim you can get 20 percent more power and torque from the car with their solution. While the car has 74 horsepower and 118 lb-ft of torque stock, this module suggests you can bump that up to 94 horsepower and 142 lb-ft of torque. In practice, that does make the car quicker, but does it feel Tesla quick after the tune?

You can check out how it looks to install and the overall process of getting the tune in the video above. Before getting some new 0-60 times with the Steinbauer unit installed, Tommy ran three acceleration tests with the Smart. In stock configuration, the car averaged an unremarkable average 0-60 time of 9.94 seconds.

With the unit installed, Tommy was able to knock that time down to 9.19 seconds, which nets about an 8 percent improvement in real-world acceleration. It does feel undoubtedly quicker, but is it worth the $1,390 outlay they advertise on their website? Let us know what you think of the tune in the comments below!

Editor’s note: While Steinbauer advertises the unit for nearly $1,400, TFL agreed to pay Steinbauer $800 for the unit to test it out and see if it actually made a difference with our Smart ForTwo EV. The $70 labor cost involved taking the unit to our local mechanic to install, as shown in the video above.