Review Brabus Smart Car – There’s always been a genuine challenge to getting the most out of Brabus-badged Smarts, so it involves accepting the car’s limitations and working around them, rather than going to expect it to drive like a “normal” car. Going fast in a Smart has long become an exercise in ultra-smooth inputs as well as working around the quirky automated manual gearbox, hampered by a tall body and narrow stance.
Review Brabus Smart Car – Engine, transmission, and acceleration
The engine is an innovation of the one found in the standard turbocharged Fortwo, with a displacement of 898cc and 3 cylinders. It’s a Renault engine, as seen in the Twingo GT, and it gets higher fuel pressure as well as improved breathing on both the induction and exhaust sides, thanks to refitted intakes as well as a Brabus sports exhaust system.
Drive is directed to the rear axle only, as with all Smarts, resulting in a 9.5-second 0-62mph time. The top speed is electronically restricted to 103mph; the Brabus Forfour has a higher limiter of 112mph due to its longer wheelbase.
Highlights in technical terms
Review Brabus Smart Car – Brabus models obtain firmer suspension than the dealer-fit Brabus setup on frequent Smarts, in addition to engine improvements. The springs, as well as dampers, are 10mm lower and 20% firmer than on previous models, and an upgraded front anti-roll bar reduces roll by another 9%.
The Brabus’ steering has also been optimized. The variable-ratio system has more return torque than standard models (though it will still U-turn on a sixpence), and the ESP system has been slightly relaxed and specially tweaked for the firmer, faster setup.
Review Brabus Smart Car- How does it feel to drive?
The Brabus Fortwo is unusual at this price point because of its rear-engined layout and driven rear wheels.
Smart continues to use a staggered tire setup to compensate for its short wheelbase as well as rear-engined layout – the front tires are 185-section to the rears’ 205-section – but there is more front grip than in the previous model, and indeed more than most traditional city cars.
Understeer isn’t as fatal, and the car’s balance is truly quite exploitable as a result. Turn in at ridiculous speeds while the front end will still push broad, but the short wheelbase implies that even the smallest throttle lift will limit that, as well as lifting harshly will cause the back end to slide around.
Quick steering and always-present ESP quickly rein in that kind of behavior, but since it happens at low speeds, it’s something you can enjoy almost anywhere and with little risk. It’s also something that doesn’t happen in the Renault Twingo but does in the Brabus Forfour, implying that some of Smart’s modifications have loosed a little playfulness in the chassis.
And if your inputs are smooth, it’s a dynamic layer you don’t have to explore if you don’t want to, because the Brabus generates perfectly respectable levels of grip, as well as the greater natural stability of this model, when compared to its predecessor, allows you to discover a flow down most roads.
There’s no steering feel, and there’s little bite during the first few degrees of lock, presumably so that the Fortwo feels less crowded on the highway. However, the rack is surprisingly fast, made even faster by the extreme angles to which the front wheels will turn. Despite its weight, the Smart feels incredibly agile.
Surprisingly, the engine is now the weak link in the package. The performance is deceptively fast (again, in comparison to the car’s size), but the Renault-sourced lump is as bland here as it is in the Twingo. The old Fortwo Brabus’ 3-pot made much more interesting noises and delivered comparable performance despite having less weight to push.
Fortunately, the dual-clutch transmission works well; it’s not a standard-bearer of its kind, but shifts are acceptably quick, and you don’t feel like you’re punishing the Smart as much as you do all the manual-equipped Twingo to extract its output.
Review Brabus Smart Car – Price and rivals
A Brabus Fortwo can be purchased for as little as £16,445. The Xclusive model we tested (which includes sports seats, artificial leather trim on the seats as well as the dashboard, an entire touchscreen system with satnav, as well as two-tone paintwork options) starts at £19,615, and our car had been customized to cost more than £20,000.
That’s patently insane when normal hot hatchbacks such as the Ford Fiesta ST and Peugeot 208 GTI would outperform the Smart, offering more practicality and depth of talent for the same or less money.
It’s safe to say, however, that there’s undoubtedly no Venn diagram in which buyers of Brabus Smarts and regular hot hatchbacks – or even the more practical Forfour – overlap, and that the Brabus Fortwo stands out as a distinctive proposition.
For some customers, only the smallest of cars will suffice – Smart claims to have sold 120,000 Fortwos in Rome only since the car debuted in the late 1990s – but it’s worth noting that this is the first Brabus Smart that’s enjoyable for what it can do rather than what it is.
Here is what we Review Brabus Smart Car 2014. I hope that it is helpful to you when you are considering buying a smart car.