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Hooray! The new Smart Brabus is here

Smart reveals faster versions of the ForTwo and ForFour at the Beijing show

Say hello to the Smart Brabus, the hot version of Mercedes’s impossibly tiny city car. How hot are we talking? A meatier version of the standard Smart’s 898cc blown three-cylinder delivers 108bhp and 125lb ft – improvements of nearly 20bhp and 25lb ft over standard. Handy.

In the ForTwo (Coupe and Cabrio), 0-62mph is dealt with in 9.5secs, and it’ll run on to a top speed of 103mph. The ForFour is a second to slower to 62mph but its presumably slipperier aero helps it get a bit of extra speed, with a 112mph VMax. It certainly looks meaner than its tiddly two-seat siblings.

Besides the power, you get stiffer suspension, retuned ESP and a sports exhaust, plus variable ratio steering with “increased return torque” for better feedback. 

Pity it’s auto only (the current car’s DCT is leagues ahead of the rather awful automated manual of old, mind), but Smart promises responses have been sharpened and ratios shortened for maximum sportiness. It’s even got launch control, which sounds reassuringly simple to engage (left foot on the brake, floor the accelerator and release). Good for the traffic light GP. Probably.

Then there’s the aesthetic stuff – new wheels, Brabus badges aplenty and a tarted-up interior. Set to make its debut at this week’s Beijing motor show, UK prices will be revealed in July, with deliveries beginning soon after in September. 

We weren’t particularly sure about the old Smart Brabus. But we have high hopes for the new one – what with it sharing so much with the Renault Twingo. Which rather makes us wonder if the Twingo will get similarly ‘hot’ treatment soon…

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