The high-performance derivative of the electric SUV will reportedly carry Brabus branding.
Unveiled as recently as last week, Smart's #1 has recently been spied in China wearing some unique styling changes. Weibo user Jason Ferrari stumbled upon the dust-covered example in a parking lot, wearing no camouflage whatsoever. Thankfully, this lets us take a closer look at the changes. Up front, the electric crossover boasts a more aggressive bumper, replete with a spoiler and a mesh pattern on the front air intake.
Elsewhere, the spied #1 features supplementary intakes just ahead of the hood, hinting that this may be a high-performance variant of the quirky EV. There's more to suggest this unknown model may be a sportier derivative. Not much of the side profile has changed, but the most obvious modification is the dynamic-looking wheels.
They appear far sportier than the aerodynamic items fitted to the regular model. Behind the attractive design, red-painted brake calipers can be seen. In fact, the scarlet theme is applied to several body panels of this mystery #1, including the side skirts, and bumpers. The side mirrors and roof are also finished in the vivid hue, neatly disguising the more pronounced rear wing.
The standard rear-wheel drive #1 produces 268 horsepower and 253 lb-ft of torque. Perhaps the company is developing a dual motor model with more power? The performance variant is set to have as much as 400 hp at its disposal, courtesy of a twin electric motor setup. Reportedly, the sportier #1 will be marketed under the Brabus brand, continuing a long tradition of Brabus-fettled Smart cars.
With that much power on tap, we're guessing rival boutique brand Mini is rather concerned. After all, the standard model is already more powerful than both the Mini Cooper Electric Hardtop and the similarly sized Cooper Countryman PHEV. The former serves up a middling 184 hp and 199 lb-ft while the latter boasts slightly more, at 221 hp and 284 lb-ft.
That doesn't mean Mini hasn't got a riposte up its sleeve; the next-generation Countryman PHEV will reportedly be even more powerful than the JCW GP hatchback. The hotted-up Smart #1 is unlikely to arrive anytime soon. Upon closer inspection, one can see that the spotted prototype is a hodge-podge of differently colored body panels. This may be an early test mule, but it gives us a good idea of what to expect.