How much would you pay for a 125-hp subcompact car? German tuning house Brabus, famous for making Mercedes-Benz cars quicker, thinks there are a handful of people crazy enough – or with enough of a sense of humour – to spend 50,000 Euros on this pumped-up version of the smart fortwo. That’s a little more than $71,000 CAD, according to exchange rates in effect as you read this.
Before you indulge our obsession with that price any further, let’s talk about what makes this Brabus Ultimate 125 special enough command that kind of price.
To start, the folks at the Brabus skünkwerks have massaged the fortwo’s 900-cc turbocharged three-cylinder engine for 123 brake horsepower (or 125 by a slightly different means of measurement, the figure that inspired the car’s name and its limited production run of 125 cars). That and the modified motor’s 147 lb-ft of torque are a big bump over the standard car’s 89 hp and 100 lb-ft.
Brabus says output is enough to shunt the fortwo from zero to 100 km/h in 9.2 seconds, to a top speed of 175 km/h, 1.2 seconds quicker to triple-digit velocities and about 22 km/h faster, respectively, than a standard one.
Other mechanical upgrades include 18-inch wheels, a lowered suspension, and a performance exhaust system with an adorable trio of stainless steel finishers peeking out from the middle of the rear bumper diffuser.
And check out the striking colour-matched upholstery and dash covering. Included are air conditioning and navigation.
We will freely admit we think this car looks bad-ass and would probably be a blast to drive through the narrow streets of some ancient European city—the environment for which the fortwo was conceived.
Brabus’ introduction of this car comes just weeks after smart’s parent company, Mercedes-Benz, announced it was refocusing the smart brand on electric vehicles in Canada and the United States, specifically the fortwo Electric Drive. In other words, don’t count on any of the 125 examples of this car slated from production making it to North America.
But we can’t help coming back to that $71,000 price. For $75,000 CAD, Mercedes-Benz will sell you an AMG C 63 with nearly four times the power; also less than $80,000 is the BMW M3, boasting nearly as much power as that Benz.
And never mind hot hatches like the Ford Fiesta ST, the forthcoming version of which will have its own turbo three-cylinder, but making 200 hp, and likely at a price a little more than a third of that of Brabus’ latest smart custom.
Oh, and we forgot to mention that $71,000 price is for the hardtop version; a convertible variant is even pricier.
There’s no way we’d spend our own money on one of these things, but we’d sure love a chance to flog one around a racetrack.