Now, Brabus has long-enjoyed a partnership with Smart and I've written previously about my love for the Roadster based on the previous generation ForTwo. It may seem an odd partnership, given Brabus's bread and butter is monstrously tuned Mercedes with 900hp V12s, decadently trimmed interiors and a general catering to those with more money than sense. Business is good too, it seems.
Bringing the cachet of a designer label performance brand like Brabus to a city car like the Smart works well for both parties too – for regular folk it's the closest you'll get to owning a Brabus this side of a Euromillions win while for the moneyed types with a fleet of widebody G-Classes it offers a face-saving way to drive a city runabout without anyone thinking you're a cheapskate.
This new Brabus ForFour is an amusing package for sure. But 109hp/107bhp from a turbocharged 900cc three-cylinder engine isn't really that impressive, no matter how good it looks on Brabus wheels and with the option of a custom leather interior. Especially when you consider the last time there was a Brabus ForFour it was a properly spicy hot hatch, packing 177hp/175bhp and weighing a little over a tonne. OK, so it was more conventional and drove the front wheels rather than the rear. But, let's face it, that's a formula that's worked in the past.