Brabus Utimate E brings unlikely machismo to the Smart EQ cabrio

Joe Lorio

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German tuner Brabus typically works its horsepower-enhancing magic and visual, ah, ministrations on already-muscular machines such as the Mercedes-Benz G-wagen and the Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door. But Brabus also has put its special touch on other Daimler models, up to and including the Smart Fortwo. The latest Smart to get the Brabus touch is the newly updated 2020 Smart EQ ForTwo Cabrio, which becomes the Brabus Ultimate E.

If you're thinking 800 horsepower, like in the Brabus versions of those other two models, think again. The Ultimate E has 92 horses in its corral, but that's better than the 80 horsepower in the regular version. Naturally, with 92 horsepower, the two-seat city car can't quite match the sub-3-second 0-to-62-mph time of the Brabus 800 (although that would be fun). Instead, how about a sub-11-second time? The Ultimate E reaches 62 mph in 10.9 seconds, which beats the standard car's 11.9-second run. The Brabus-tuned electric motor also spins out 133 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 15 lb-ft over the standard version. Brabus claims a range of 78 miles.

Characteristically, the Brabus treatment extends beyond the mechanicals. The Ultimate E presents a more pugnacious face to the world with its redesigned front bumper treatment with a honeycomb mesh pattern and red lower splitter. The restyled rear bumper incorporates a diffusers look, again with red accents, and there is a red lower skirt along the bodyside. Wider bodywork allows for 18-inch wheels with ultra-low-profile 205/35 front and 235/30 rear tires, and Brabus has retuned the suspension accordingly.

Open the door and you're greeted with "Brabus" illuminated door sills, and more badging on the seatbacks, floor mats, and shifter. The seat feature red contrast stitching in a honeycomb pattern and red accents appear elsewhere in the cabin.

This mean, green electric machine is destined to stay in Europe, as Smart has given up on the U.S. market. Maybe a Brabus-ized ForTwo could have turned things around, although Americans seem more likely to embrace the 800-hp Brabus G-wagen.

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