Track Tested: 2008 Smart Fortwo Brabus

Track Tested: 2008 Smart Fortwo Brabus

The Smart Fortwo isn't a performance vehicle no matter how you cut it. It's all about convenience and efficiency. Performance is an afterthought, sort of like the transmission.

But there are some people, we'll call them dreamers, who like the idea of a spruced-up Smart Fortwo. For them, there's the Fortwo Brabus, a mildly tuned factory special that at least gives the impression that this Smart can handle itself around a corner.

To that end, the Brabus-tuned Smart gets a retuned exhaust, revised suspension, a few aerodynamic enhancements, and larger wheels and tires. There are some interior enhancements and special colors, too, but for the purposes of this experiment we'll consider that icing on the cake. Or the most useful upgrades depending on your perspective.

It all adds up to a most unusual Smart. But is it any more of a performance vehicle than the standard model? We took it to the track to find out. See the results and a video after the jump.

Vehicle: 2008 Smart Fortwo Brabus
Odometer: 1,708
Date: 7/28/2009
Driver: Josh Jacquot
Price: N/A

Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Semiautomatic 5-speed
Engine Type: Inline-3
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 996cc (61 cu-in)
Redline (rpm): 6,600
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 70 @ 5,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 68 @ 3,500
Brake Type (front): Ventilated disc    
Brake Type (rear): Drum
Steering System: Rack and pinion
Suspension Type (front): MacPherson strut
Suspension Type (rear): Solid axle
Tire Size (front): 175/55R15 77T
Tire Size (rear): 215/35R17 79H
Tire Brand: Hankook
Tire Model: VentusV4 ES
Tire Type: Summer
Wheel Size: 15-by-4.5 inches front, 17-by-5.5 inches rear
Wheel Material (front/rear): Alloy
As tested Curb Weight (lb): 1,908

Test Results:
0-30 (sec): 5.0
0-45 (sec): 8.2
0-60 (sec): 14.3
0-75 (sec): 22.9
1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 19.6 @ 69.7
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 13.9
30-0 (ft): 31
60-0 (ft): 122
Braking Rating: Good
Slalom (mph): 57.9
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.74  
Handling Rating: Weird (normal ratings just don't apply)
Db @ Idle: 51.8
Db @ Full Throttle: 81.3
Db @ 70-mph Cruise: 75.1

Acceleration Comments: Best acceleration numbers came with a simple off-brake/on-gas procedure. Brake torque hurts acceleration and this turd doesn't need anything else hampering its acceleration.

Braking Comments: Surprising brake dive given well-balanced appearance. Some fade evident by stops number 4 and 5.

Handling Comments: Skid pad: Ultra-conservative stability control means there's no real "driving" to do around the skid pad. Just hold your right foot down and steer. Electronics do the rest. Slalom: Stability control avoids oversteer at all costs, which means it will create severe understeer at 65 mph which also isn't fun. But one thing is for sure; it won't roll.  

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