After a few years of the middle of the pack, Smart #1 [ SMART BRABUS 2023 ] begins something that returns and diversification for the brand. To begin, it’s an essential SUV, and, for a second, it’s bigger than the Forfour or even the tiny Fortwo. At 4300mm for the most extensive version, The #1 is roughly the same as the Mini Countryman, a major rival. It’s also the initial fruit of collaboration with Chinese giant Geely using their scalable EV technology.
If you’re wondering if this is a Smart, We were too. In response to a question, it was noted that the initial concept for Smart was based on the personalization and efficiency of space while gaining entry into the ever-growing small SUV segment was a logical choice to make a profit. Also, glance at the technical specs, and you’ll notice familiar elements like a motor mounted on the rear that drives backward on the wheels.
The delight of specifications[SMART BRABUS 2023]
Thankfully, you won’t get an eye-brow-raising short range similar to the current models used now. Each model comes with a 66kWh battery that can offer up to 273 miles of WLTP cycle for models with rear-wheel drive and 248 miles with Brabus with four wheels. Brabus.
All models can accept up to 150kW of the CCS-connected rapid charger to offer a quick 10% to 80 percent charge time, whereas your typical 7.4kW wall charger can accomplish similar feats in seven and an eighth. Models in the mid-range and higher also benefit from three-phase 22 kW AC charging via a Type 2 plug. This will cut the charging time to less than 3 hours.
Hold on, Hold on! Are you using a four-wheel drive, Brabus?
It’s true! Brabus returns. The standard rear-wheel drive #1 has one motor for the rear axle that produces a not significant 268bhp. The Brabus also has one that is 154bhp for the front. When you add them all together, you’ll get a 422bhp Smart. Blimey.
It’s not something to be sneezed at, and even the basic model can go from 0-62mph in FiestaST-bothering 6.7 seconds. The Brabus? 3.9 seconds is enough to significantly annoy a Lamborghini Urus; it’s just 0.2 seconds quicker when the launch control is in place.
What other modifications are there for the latest version?
It comes with the front suspension system redesigned to handle the extra weight of the motor and the Brabus driving mode that unleashes the full 422bhp. But this is all. You have the same wheel, tire, and brakes (gulp), and the suspension is tuned to match the ride of the regular vehicle. Additionally, no suspension is more rigid or with adaptive dampers. This is a possibility…
Beyond the mechanicals, you’ll get an exclusive style of alloy wheels and more aggressive bumpers. Roof spoilers, as well as all Brabus branding you’ll ever require. Inside, you’ll find the Alcantara wheel with microfiber inserts for the seats, and the pedals are flashy stainless steel.
Time for driving SMART BRABUS 2023
Start in single-motor one and quickly become delighted. Getting out of Lisbon’s bustling streets is an easy task due to a perfectly-judged single-pedal mode that demands only the occasional use of brakes, along with a quiet motor and a steering system. That is well-weighted and precise when you stay away from the lightest mode.
A more firm squeeze of the pedal will reveal sufficient acceleration to support cutting and thrust in urban areas. The #1 sped away from the light without any issues with traction during our test day, which was dry. The suspension is designed for maximum compliance, providing the ride in a relaxed manner with a slight thump over potholes and damaged surfaces that should not be an issue for the UK. The main reason is suspension noise, but the 19-inch wheels will not help in the initial absorption of bumps.
When we get on the Autostrada, winds and road noise is well controlled, and the ride slows down even more so that a long drive shouldn’t be too stressful. There’s a basic set of driver aids, including the adaptive cruise control system, lane centering, blind spot monitoring, and lane change assist. It’s a system that performs well to assist the driver, though it is necessary to add input from your steering wheel.
This is the right thing; however, is it also fun?
In the direction of hilly terrain, your plans begin positively. The steering delivers a sensation like a road’s surface on your fingers, which weighs up nicely as you press the Smart’s nose further into a curve. The roll is good, and the traction excellent, though it’s not hard to make the ESC’s light flicker. You can reduce the electronic input on the touchscreen’s menu and move the tail up to a certain amount; however, too much can result in cut power and a little brake intervention.
It’s a lot of fun on the twisty, low-speed terrain; however, faster roads show the car’s weight. Damping that’s great to keep you comfortable doesn’t make it easier to carry the 1800-pound weight of small vehicle mid-corner crests and compressions, and it doesn’t give an agile feeling when moving left-right-left across a series of twists. When the single pedal is off, relying upon the brake lever can reveal an extended drive with sufficient stopping power. It can accelerate at a reasonable speed but prefers a slower pace.
422bhp is the power of that chassis. ….
You can drive the Brabus in an ordinary, steady way, and you’re not likely to be able to tell the difference from the regular model minus the visible parts. This is unless you encounter circumstances where the twin-motor four-wheel drive system was a success.
You can select Brabus mode by tapping a shortcut icon under the infotainment screen. This will release the full 422bhp power and provide little but not much weight on the wheel. When you drive straight, the car is a breeze. You can throttle the motor at a stop, and it simply grips and speeds off, with the motor’s maximum power appearing restricted for the first couple of miles.
Acceleration is powerful, but it’s not a guarantee that you’ll reach speeds at which your chassis becomes uncomfortable, and you go over that threshold. The lack of body control makes the car sway and shake unpleasantly, and that long brake pedal doesn’t give the driver a sense of security when driving at a higher speed.
Traction isn’t much of a problem with the front motor that helps drag the car through turns; however, it can affect the control of the car. It’s easier to master the Brabus understeering, even though there’s still a bias in the rear of the drive. But, once you’ve mastered it, you realize that cornering isn’t this car’s forte, making it a bit like a one-trick pony. The Cupra Born is an agile car.
Practicality and boot space
An increase in size for Smart allows for five people
While Smart was a firm that specialized in compact urban vehicles, two vehicles could fit into the same parking spot #1 is a different concept. The company has evolved, and now this BMW iX1 rival is a spacious crossover.
The benefit is that it has a large interior, with plenty of room for four adults to lounge inside. There’s plenty of headroom in the rear, regardless of the roof that has a panoramic view that’s been specified, and there’s virtually no central hump on the floor. This means that an adult or child can be seated in the back middle seat with enough room for their feet and legs.
The most important feature is the slide-back rear seat, which can move by 13cm to increase passenger space and the boot’s capacity. The minimum capacity is 323 liters with Pro+ trim Pro+ trim and 313 liters with a subwoofer installed. However, these figures are lower than most rivals; they can be increased by moving the seat forward. There’s also a “frunk,” which is only 15 liters. It’s only valid for the storage of cables.
Safety and reliability
The technology shared by Volvo could improve reliability. While Smart was once a part of the Mercedes family, the top spot shares more of its resources with Volvo and Polestar. This could be a good thing for reliability since Volvo was ranked 8th in the 2022 Driver Power survey, which was well ahead of Mercedes at 23rd place from 29.
It’s too early to tell the first model’s reliability; however, it’s pretty likely that initial niggles will surface on the electronics and infotainment fronts because Geely has years of experience producing EVs.
As you would expect, an all-new car has quite sophisticated security features. The suite of driver aids is called ‘Smart Pilot’ and features adaptive cruise control that can be the first to respond to traffic jams, blind spot monitoring auto-parking, adaptive headlights, and self-parking.
Let’s have a look.
Smart says it is similar to an E-Class in terms of interior space. If you don’t get it off, there’s some truth to these claims. This isn’t the most compact car, and a 6-foot-plus rear passenger will have headroom and legroom over a similar-sized driver. The practicality is enhanced by the ability to slide and recline the back bench using an e-ski flap, which makes the car a 60/40 split rather than a 40/20/40 split.
It’s good that the rear bench can slide forward, however. Beginning Pro+ models get a small 323 liters of storage space, including an under-bed, adjustable, but removable, boot floor. The volume is reduced by 10 liters in the higher models due to the Beats subwoofer that is part of the system, so you’ll need to maximize the use of the bench that can be moved when you’re trying to squeeze all the accessories of household life. There are lots of storage cubbies and solutions for seats in the front and back.
The small boot, high-up, and uncomfortable driving position are the only negatives. Interior quality is impressive, with plenty of soft plastics and a sturdy build that offers the Countryman a chance for its money. It also beats it off its feet. ID.3and Cupra is Born into a charging bag that is cocked.
The 9.2-inch touchscreen system for infotainment requires some familiarization. It is best performed when stationary, but it’s easy to use after you’ve gotten comfortable with the computer game-like graphics, including a spinning globe and a foxy avatar representing that voice controls system. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay will be available at some point; however, you’ll need to pay for the services. Displays with head-up on all devices, except Pro+, make up for the display for the more minor driver’s computer Think Renault Zoe.
SMART BRABUS 2023 #1: verdict
With no pricing information, It’s hard to tell what the best recommendation for the first choice is, though it’s been suggested that Pro+ will be around ¥279,000 ($A58,891) in China and Premium will be lower than¥189,000 ($A42,786). For Brabus, the price is likely to be lower than $50,000. Whatever trim you pick, there are plenty of standard features like two-zone LED headlights, heated front seats, and a power tailgate.
With this in mind, we’d recommend giving the Brabus an unqualified thumbs-down because of its lack of handling and price and, instead, stick with one of the models with rear-wheel drive. When driven within its comfort zone, it’s an excellent addition to the compact SUV class with a spacious and attractive interior that compensates for its small boot size with its movable rear seating.
It’s not as smart as you think, but it’s their most convincing vehicle.