Smart ForFour

Reinventing the ForFour does not come cheap. Smart has added nearly £10,000 of Brabus bits to its supermini

Fans of the Smart have been waiting for a ForFour Brabus - but were probably hoping it would cost less. If the maker softened the suspension and ditched the leather, a more tempting £15,000 price tag would be achievable.

Reinventing the ForFour does not come cheap. Smart has added nearly £10,000 of Brabus bits to its supermini, but is the newcomer any more desirable as a result?

A powerful 1.5-litre four-cylinder turbo engine delivers 177bhp. With a 137mph top speed and a 0-60mph time of 6.9 seconds, Smart says the car is faster than a MINI Cooper S.

The suspension has been stiffened, with shortened springs and more rigid shock absorbers, yet while this boosts grip, it also takes the fun out of the ride. Wide wheels and low-profile tyres also transfer too much road noise into the cabin. However, the steering is nicely weighted and the gearshift slick.

The racy ForFour is set apart from lesser models by eye-catching special 17-inch alloys, a roof spoiler, chrome twin sports exhaust and Brabus badges. Leather sports seats continue this theme inside, while air-con is standard-fit and the dash gets a hide covering, too.

Unsurprisingly, these extras come at a price. At £17,195, the ForFour Brabus is only a few grand cheaper than a VW Golf GTI - but it has a lot less charm.

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