Brabus, the name synonymous with high-performance cars all over Europe and the rest of the world has got their grubby little paws on the ever so tiny Smart ForTwo. In standard guise, the Smart is no powerhouse, it’s partly asthmatic, but returns decent economy and makes for a good city car. On the open road, though, it’s a different story and this is where the added oomph of the Brabus comes into play.
On the exterior front, the car has an aero kit fitted to it as well as upsized Brabus monoblock wheel’s; 16inches in front and a 17inch rear rim. It’s odd to see that they’ve gone with different sizes, but it’s also not nearly as noticeable as one might think. The suspension has been changed out too, now sporting 20mm closer to the ground and much stiffer than the standard car we tested.
The 898cc 52kw engine gets sooped up to a healthy 80kw and 170nm, which is mated to a DCT auto gearbox, which does provide sharp and sporty shifts. There is very little turbo lag and the 3-cylinder really provides a singing sensation from the rear. The 0-100 times are claimed at a not so earth shattering 9.5 seconds and even with launch control, it is not as quick as it sounds. It does make for a fun drive, though, with enough power on tap to squeeze into the smallest gaps while combatting the traffic. With the extra boost in power, the fuel economy takes a decent knock as overall consumption ended up at 9l/100km in a combined drive. That’s 3l/l100km more fuel than the standard car we tested late last year.
The interior, all wrapped in leather and a Brabus emblem here and there is spacious, with heated seat standard. The JBL audio system with a little subwoofer in the boot robs you of the precious room while sounding mediocre at best. With only 1 USB and an SD card slot for the navigation, you need seriously prioritize your charging or your music.
The Brabus is a fun little car to drive, but really only suited to single buyers at best. The limited boot space will only take a few shopping bags but there is a sense of cool coming from it, parked in the parking lot.
At R308 200 for the standard Brabus and R360 000 for the Xclusive tested here; the price is what you make of it. It comes down to how badly you want the Brabus Fashion accessory.