Tuning the smart ED3 to 100 PS or simply make it regenerate more?

Anyone who knows the 3rd generation smart electric drive, knows that this little city runabout has already an incredible acceleration coming from the factory. Between 0 - 50 km / h, it's faster than almost everything that everyday life has to offer. And that despite the fact that it's performance is always limited. The built-in electric motor from EM-motive GmbH can achieve a full 80kW, but is limited to 55kW in the smart (60 kW for Brabus).


There are two versions of the tuning kit:


The tuningkit is exclusivly beeing sold through EQpassion and it's shop.


With the tuning kit the little smart can show what it can actually do. The tuning company promises 10 % more power, torque and even more regenerative breaking. Enough reasons to try the big 100 PS kit out and test how the little rocket is performing with the upgrade. For that purpose I build it in my 230,000 km old smart ED.


It is particularly pleasant that the kit is installed in a non-destructive way, it can easily be removed again and everything can be reset to the original condition.



Thanks to all supporters:

I would particularly like to mention Thomas Rebele from Tom's garage and Ivo Jozinovic from Ivo vehicle technology. Thomas supported the project as a car master and professionally installed the kit. Despite his full calendar and the fact that the smart has more torque than most of his customers, Ivo tested the smart on his dyno and shared the data with me.



The installation and rough functionality of the kit


Thanks to the included instructions, installing the kit is not difficult. To give you an overview, I will summarize it briefly here. Of course, I advise you to carry out the installation yourself using the included instructions from Steinbauer:

At first you disconnect the 12V battery, now the entire vehicle is voltage-free. Also the HV circuit cannot be started without the 12V. Then you go to the trunk, lift the carpet and open the motor hatch underneath. Here in the middle we've got the inverter, its control cable must be disconnected and the plug opened. A small slotted screwdriver is great for this job. After opening the connector, you take the two cables from pin 8 and pin 9 out of it. These are the ones that get a new connector and are then connected to the Steinbauer module. Instead of the original cables, there are now two pins that come out of the Steinbauer module in to the original inverter plug.

Now the Steinbauer module only needs electricity, which it receives directly from the DCDC converter. It is conveniently installed in the inverter, the power supply is screwed to the two poles of the DCDC converter. Now all you have to do is stow everything away and plug in the 12V battery again. The installation is already done.


The task of the kit is now to receive the control signal for the motor, add approx. 10 % and then to pass the increased value on to the inverter. At the same time, according to the manufacturer, it keeps an eye on parameters such as the battery level and ensures that nothing is overused.


[Download instructions]


Steinbauer also uploaded a installation guide on YouTube: Smart ED3 Installation - STEINBAUER EV Module



So how does the kit do?


It is immediately apparent that the characteristic of the power pedal has been changed. With the kit, the full power already kicks in before hitting the kickdown. Anyone who has a smart ED Brabus already knows this from its sport mode. With the kit the smart is a little crisper at lower speeds and got a good boost between 50km / h and 90 km / h. Faster than that it's hardly noticeable. This is also confirmed by the dyno:


smart ED auf 100 PS tunen oder auch nur die Rekuperation steigern?


By the way, good observers notice that the smart ED3 actually only has 75 PS from the factory. But as it turns out, they all scatter upwards. Already when we compared our 200,000 km old smart ED on the dyno to a 30,000 km old one, we noticed that both already had > 80 PS.


Even before the performance kit is installed, the smart ED3 only has its full performance and full torque from 50 km / h. That's simply because you don't want to do a burnout at every traffic light. Due to the high torque that would otherwise happen all the time.


Almost more exciting than the increased acceleration, the increased regen

I particularly appreciate the increased regen, originally the smart ED3 does not recuperate particularly strong. With the regen paddles in "D+" mode it is a bit better already (retrofitting the regen pedals), but still limited to 35 kW. In conjunction with the tuning kit, you'll get true one pedal driving and the mechanical brakes are only rarely necessary anymore. The smart then breaks so hard that it even nods down at the front when you just fully depress the power pedal.

When I asked Steinbauer to offer a kit that leaves the motor power as standard and only increases the regenerative breaking, they decided right away to make such a kit. So if you only want increased regen, you can get that now as well.



Conclusion


The Austrian tuning kit is priced well at 574,95 €, it is significantly cheaper than buying a smart ED Brabus. It also delivers significantly more power than the electric Brabus and has the best OnePedal-Drive feeling you can get in a smart. What speaks in particular for the kit is that it can be easily installed by anyone and also is been removed easily without leaving any any damage to the car.


Of course, such a tuning kit does not contribute to the longevity of the drive train. But since the motor itself is designed for this performance, I wouldn't worry about it. Inverter, gearboxes and the HV battery should also be designed so that they do not run at the absolute limit with the factory output. That is why I think that the kit does not significantly shorten the lifespan of the car. Of course, it is up to you to decide whether you want to increase the performance.

Accordingly, it can also make sense that you only buy the small recuperation kit for € 449.95. This does not overuse any of the vehicle components but still increases significantly the regenerative breaking.


If you want to add something special to your smart from 2012 to 2016, this kit is perfect for you. Thanks to the increased regen, the range is not impaired and you still get a range of about 110 km. Something the Brabus can't, simply because it has wider tires.


EUR 574.95

EUR 449.95