There’s a good deal to like about the new Smart Roadster. Funky styling, snug interior, mid-engine layout, compact dimensions and affordable price all contribute greatly to its appeal.If there’s a weak link it’s performance. The standard car’s 698cc three-cylinder engine is never going to rip up tarmac with just 80bhp. So what better way to up the Roadster’s virtues than by slotting in another three-cylinder engine to effectively double the power?
The starting point for this hot prototype is the upcoming Brabus version of the Roadster. Keen observers will already have noticed the body kit, upgraded 17in wheel and tyre combo and lowered ride height – all of which are already available as part of a long list of options for the new Smart.
Along with cooling vents in the rear side windows, they provide the Roadster V6 with a more aggressive stance and bullish appearance than the standard car. You’ll also find an FIA-approved fuel tank mounted in the nose section and a carbonfibre brace behind the racing seats.
The big news, however, is underneath the plexiglass rear window. It’s here that a unique transversely mounted V6 engine debuts. Created by mating two of Smart’s three-cylinder engines together on a common crankcase, it displaces 1396cc and weighs just 93kg all up.