Smart's Latest Electric Crossover Has 420 HP And Can Keep Up With A BMW M3

Electric Vehicles / Comments

0 to 62 mph is dispatched in 3.9 seconds.

Due to dwindling demand, Smart elected to pull out of the American market in 2019. But elsewhere, the brand lives on as an electric vehicle maker. The latest car to don the Smart badge is the oddly-named #1, a funky crossover that was first revealed in April this year.

Soon after the launch, another variant was spotted wearing sporty exterior bits and handsome wheels. As we had guessed, the athletic Smart car was, in fact, a Brabus-tuned variant. Both companies were reticent to share any performance details at the time, but the official unveiling has finally taken place, and Brabus is ready to spill the beans.

Courtesy of an additional electric motor on the front axle, the #1 has 422 horsepower and 400 lb-ft of torque. This allows the angry-looking Smart to hit 62 mph in 3.9 seconds - 2.8 seconds faster than regular models.

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You have to admit, the acceleration is remarkable for a compact crossover. It's not only faster than its closest competitor, the Mini Cooper Electric Hardtop, but it's also a match for the BMW M3 - up to 62 mph, at least. Despite the improved acceleration, the top speed remains unchanged, at 112 mph. Power is sent to all four wheels via a single-speed transmission.

The downside to this performance is, of course, reduced travel range. Where the Premium and Launch Edition models can travel up to 273 miles (on the WLTP cycle), the Brabus only manages 248 miles. Topping the batteries up shouldn't be much of a hassle. Smart claims the Brabus #1 needs less than 30 minutes to charge its 66-kWh battery from 10% to 80% when plugged into a 150-kW charger.

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Brabus has also given the #1 some unique exterior touches, with the Performance body styling package. This includes more prominent air vents on the bumpers, a pair of vents sited beneath the hood, and model-specific bumpers front and rear. 19-inch Dynamo wheels complete the look. Lastly, Brabus models are treated to the Radiant Red roof and exterior trimmings, which can be paired with various Brabus colors.

Inside, the sporting theme continues. The interior of the regular Smart #1 is already rather lovely, but Brabus has made it even better thanks to the addition of microfiber suede seats and a grippy Alcantara steering wheel. Seen here in black with red trim, the cabin hints at the #1's capabilities. The "halo roof" panoramic sunroof is fitted as standard, and so too is a new Brabus mode, which is exclusive to this range-topper.

Other neat details include embroidered Brabus badging in the headrests and aluminum pedals.

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"Over the past 20 years, Smart and Brabus have co-created a high-performance urban legend and won the hearts of countless enthusiasts. We are excited to continue our two-decade partnership with smart into the e-mobility era," said Brabus CEO, Constantin Buschmann.

There's no word yet as to whether the Smart #1 Brabus (or any Smart, for that matter) will be heading to the United States. But, if priced correctly, it could be a strong rival for the Mini brand, as the #1 is a more practical and usable proposition than the ForTwo and ForFour.

Don't expect the Brabus model to be cheap, though. Various overseas reports indicate a starting price of around $50,000 which is a lot of money for a compact crossover. If it ever makes it to America, it will do battle with ICE vehicles such as the Mercedes-AMG GLB 35 and Mini Cooper JCW Countryman, as well as electric rivals like the ID.4, Mustang Mach-E, and Hyundai Ioniq 5.

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