Smart Brabus revealed in Coupe, Cabrio and Forfour forms

Hottest versions of Daimler's city cars make their debut - at a price

Smart has revealed the model evo has been waiting for since we first tested the current generation Fortwo: The Smart Brabus.

Available in coupe, convertible and Forfour variations, the Brabus-tweaked Smarts feature brawnier versions of the firm’s 898cc three-cylinder turbocharged engine, fatter tyres and suspension changes, giving them the character – if not the outright performance – of Brabus’s better-known performance saloons.

The three-pot’s power has risen to 108bhp at 5750rpm, with 125lb ft of torque from 2000rpm. That’s up from 89bhp and 100lb ft, thanks to increased fuel pressure, and better breathing both on the induction side and exhaust, via a Brabus sports exhaust system.

A revised version of the ‘Twinamic’ six-speed dual-clutch transmission also aids performance, with response times cut by 40 per cent and shorter ratios. Combined with a ‘Race Start’ function, the Fortwo will skip to 62mph in 9.5sec and hit 103mph. Cabrio performance is identical, while the Forfour will hit a higher 112mph top speed but take a second longer to get to 62mph.

To us, those figures sound a little disappointing – the old Fortwo Brabus with its click-wait-shift automated manual could lurch to 62mph in 9.6sec and the even older, Mitsubishi-based Brabus Forfour dispatched the sprint in 6.7sec before hitting 137mph.

But that old Fortwo was lighter than the current model, while the old Forfour had the stabilising benefits of a front-mounted engine and front-wheel drive.

Perhaps the new cars’ handling (certainly not a strong point of the old Fortwo) will make up for it: dampers are 20 per cent firmer than the existing Brabus accessory sports suspension for the Fortwo/Forfour models, there’s an anti-roll bar at the front axle to cut tilt by 9 per cent, and the ESP has been ‘specially adapted’.

The steering too has undergone work. Smart claims extra feedback, though we’ll wait and see – the variable-rate rack has ‘increased return torque’, which suggests extra weight rather than necessarily any more feel.

Visual changes echo those of previous Smart Brabus models. Brabus Monoblock IX alloy wheels fill the arches – a 16in/17in front/rear mix on the Fortwo, and 17s all round on the Forfour – with 185-section front tyres and 205-section rears on each. Diffusers, chrome tailpipes and a single-colour scheme (rather than typically two-tone standard Smarts) complete the exterior look.

Inside, Brabus Xclusive models take things further, with nappa leather trim over Brabus sport seats, a Brabus-branded instrument panel, extra dashboard instrumentation, floor mats and special badging.

The trio are nearly as economical as their standard counterparts despite the extra Brabus addenda, with up to 62.8mpg (and 102g/km of CO2) in the Fortwo, and 61.4mpg on the Cabrio and Forfour.

That’s probably just as well, as the Brabus models are as expensive as ever. UK pricing hasn’t yet been announced (we’ll have to wait until July for that, with September deliveries), but in Germany the Fortwo starts at 19,710 Euros (around £15,500), rising to 20,520 (£16,100) for the Forfour and 22,970 (£18,000) for the Cabrio. Xclusive models are a further 3000 Euros (£2400).

Recommended

AC Schnitzer ACS1 2022 review – tuned BMW M135i takes on Mercedes-AMG A35
AC Schnitzer ACS1
BMW M135i

AC Schnitzer ACS1 2022 review – tuned BMW M135i takes on Mercedes-AMG A35

Brilliantly judged chassis upgrades unearth the desirable hot hatch lurking within BMW’s M135i xDrive
11 May 2022
Honda Civic Type R (2017-2022) review
Honda Civic Type R GT MY21 – front
Honda Civic Type-R

Honda Civic Type R (2017-2022) review

The Civic Type R is one of the most alluring performance cars on sale regardless of price
9 May 2022
Abarth 695 Tributo 131 Rally special series revealed
695 Abarth
Abarth

Abarth 695 Tributo 131 Rally special series revealed

Next limited-run Abarth 695 special edition to channel iconic 131 Rally
5 May 2022
Mini Cooper review
Mini – 3dr front tracking
Mini Cooper hatchback

Mini Cooper review

Accomplished, but not entertaining, Mini’s core model now feels old and a bit awkward. The next-gen car can’t come quickly enough
3 May 2022

Most Popular

Prodrive P25 teased – continuation Subaru Impreza WRX STI on its way
P25 teaser
Subaru

Prodrive P25 teased – continuation Subaru Impreza WRX STI on its way

Maker of the P1 and a key facilitator of Subaru’s rally heritage, Prodrive is working on a very special new project
19 May 2022
BMW M4 CSL revealed – M Division eyes the Porsche 911 GT3
BMW M4 CSL – front quarter
BMW M4 coupe

BMW M4 CSL revealed – M Division eyes the Porsche 911 GT3

It’s 100kg lighter, is rear-wheel drive and a 542bhp power figure. Bring it on.
19 May 2022
Used car deals of the week
header
used cars

Used car deals of the week

This week, we found a special McLaren 12C, a rare Mazda RX-7 and more
19 May 2022