smart Will Bring a "Brabus-Light" Package to U.S.

By Editors on October 25, 2008 3:51 PM

Looking to further enhance the cult-car status of its cheeky little urbo-runner, smart USA announced that it will add an enthusiast-grade Brabus variant to the lineup starting in February of next year. Although Brabus is best known for adding an extra measure of adrenalin to various Mercedes-Benz vehicles, the renowned German tuner also has worked its high-performance magic on the European fortwo in since the car was first introduced there. While most of those cosmetic and functional enhancements will carry over to the U.S. package, there is one key difference: Unlike its continental cousin that gets a 98-horsepower turbocharged version of the fortwo's 1.0-liter engine, the Amerispec fortwo will retain its existing 71-horse naturally aspirated in-line three.

Available on both coupe and convertible models, the Brabus upgrade will augment a black or silver monochrome exterior with unique front/rear/side-sill treatments and a bevy of ID badges. Functional touches to the package include standard electronically boosted power steering, a sport suspension that drops ride height by 10 millimeters and Brabus six-spoke monoblock alloy wheels mounting 175/55R15 tires up front and 215/35R17 rubber in the rear. The cars also will sport a center-mount dual-exhaust system that adds a throatier engine note, if no more power.

Inside, Brabus touches include unique silver dash trim, standard tachometer and clock, rubber-studded aluminum sport pedals, black velour floor mats and heated seats covered in black leather. Coupe pricing will start at $18,635 and the convertible at $21,636, both including destination. For smart shoppers who'd prefer making their selections from an ala carte menu, most of the Brabus goodies also will be available as individual dealer-installed accessories.