What is it?
City cars are all about nipping around town, but what if you desire a bit more nip from your neatly packaged, urbane urban runaround?
One for the suggestion box is this new Smart Fortwo Brabus, a car that so perfectly fits the term dinky that you could almost grab it by the roof and give it a playful zoom across the kitchen floor. Park it next to a modern Fiat 500 Arbath and suddenly Carlo’s sporty little icon seems borderline gargantuan.
So has Brabus given the Fortwo the acceleration of a 1:43-scale model powered by the arm of an overexcited five-year-old? Well, not really, but it is pokier. Upgrades include an increase in fuel rail pressure and improved engine breathing on both the inlet and exhaust sides, giving modest increases of 18bhp and 25lb ft and resulting in 0-62mph in 9.5sec.
Still, that’s quick enough for threading along narrow city streets, and to keep it clamped to the cobbles the suspension has been given a fettling. Ride height is 10mm lower, new springs and dampers add a 20% increase in all-round stiffness and there’s a further boost at the front courtesy of a thicker anti-roll bar.
Lastly, revised electric power steering software aims to sharpen up feedback through the wheel, while more relaxed ESP settings should mean less nannying and a bit more playfulness.