Today I will tell you my experience with the new Smart Brabus, which had a chance to try it in a spectacular location: Ibiza. Among exclusive clubs, the vibrant and festive spirit of this island with its crazy night life perfectly reflects the character of this hot version of the Smart. In the fabulous Ushuaia club I was welcomed by a series of Smart, all customized specifically for the club: a great start.
In my city I usually drive a CDI Smart, I’m really enjoying bypassing the traffic with its typical flickering of a scooter, and I look forward to hearing what emotions will transmit me this Smart Brabus. In the pre-test briefing they have already stimulated my imagination. In fact the new Brabus has the awesome power of 109CV 170Nm. Let us remember that the engine is a 3-cylinder 900cc with a weight of only 900Kg. It also has a new dual-clutch gearbox: the twinamic. This configuration allows the car to go from 0 to 100 km/h in just 9.5 seconds.
The sports configuration has been even more pronounced: stiffer suspension and an anti-roll bar on the front axle. To maximize the fun and fully express his sporty character the Brabus has been equipped with a direct steering, a reconfiguration of the ESP to make it more permissive, the Race Start procedure and an aggressive dual rear exhaust. The Brabus configurations are available for all Smart declinations: FourTwo, ForTwo Cabrio and FourFour. Let’s drive! when I enter in a Smart I’m always amazed; like Dr. Who says: “is larger inside than out”, but the space here seems even more optimized.
The center of infotainment with navigation and an audio system is well designed and the controls are fairly intuitive: with two steps I already know how to operate the radio and navigation system. Finally, I wake the engine up: ok let’s go! Usually when I’m into the city traffic I leave the automatic transmission to do the job in order to lower the stress and I also do it for while until I go out to Ibiza but I already feel the difference: the long seconds between one gear and the other disappeared. I go out from the town and step into sport mode, the gearshift paddles give me a good feeling, a long uphill path allows me to pass the truck in front of me quite easily. The tachometer into the Brabus squirts toward the scale, the three-cylinder does his duty and I not feel any turbo lag, Amazing! The gears changes smooth and without delays.
But the gearbox is not the only surprise, two corners a little ‘more aggressive and the remapped ESP is felt: oversteer is present and fun, but when the slip angle becomes too high the Smart realigns properly. I am looking for a location to test the Race Start, a long deserted road is the perfect place. Brake and accelerator pressed to the floor: I let the brake off and … .. something goes wrong: maybe my mistake, I try again. This time I have problems but I don’t remain amazed. Indeed, the Race Start is not the essential feature for a Smart, but since starting at the traffic lights in a city full of police officers in 3,3s might be expensive, it’s good as it is.
Returning to the town of Ibiza, the streets are invaded by guys retiring from the beaches and the traffic is more stringent. As always, the Smart does not disappoint: the traffic is its best habitat and the engine of the Smart Brabus “teases” me even more, making everything fun while I still feel the usual safety feeling of the Tridion cell and the typical controlled stability of the Smart. Return to Ushuaia club I have to say hello to the Smart Brabus. I love the Smart and this Brabus has just amused me, ok, with 23,000 Euros surely you can buy cars maybe more “important” but you could not say if they will be as excessive and equally entertaining.
Text: Francesco Giovannini
Photos: Francesco Giovannini