Brabus is renowned for its ballistic tuning of standard Mercs, so when it showed off a V6 bi-turbo-engined Smart Roadster, hopes were high. Unfortunately, as the Brabus model had to be built on the same line as the regular car, the production version had to work with the original equipment. Despite the fact that Brabus only added a new intake and exhaust, a reworked turbo and ECU increased boost pressure for a 24 per cent power hike. But what's it like to own? Over to Jean-Michel to tell us more... I first fell in love with this car while I was in my first year at University. I knew there was something different which is what appealed to me as I've always been the kind of guy that likes to go against the grain. This car would be my protest against everything that is considered normal. Two years later I got a job while still at school and six months after that, this beauty was sitting in my garage. This particular 700cc engine, which originally produced 101bhp after Brabus' work, was remapped to 126 bhp. This made it rapid as it weighs just 800kg. Unfortunately it has the worst semi-automatic gearbox known to man, however since I live in Malta, 0-60mph in 8 seconds isn't that bad. The country stretches just 17 miles across and comes complete with a road surface like the moon, so there aren't many opportunities to use the performance. Most importantly, though, is that this car does one thing better than almost any other car I've driven. It makes me smile. When you get inside, you can't help but grin at the feeling of driving a road-legal go-kart. Handling is superb and turning the traction control off turns it into a rear-wheel drive, tail happy, slide-monster. This car will surprise you in every way, thrill you 'round the corners and generate a stupefied look on every child's face as they tell their parents that Batman just drove by!
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