DIMINUTIVE BRABUS: The Smart ForTwo Brabus won the hearts of the Wheels24 team. Image: Charlen Raymond
Cape Town - After years of wondering what 'those funny little Smart cars are', I finally had a go in the ForTwo for a couple of days.
But this wasn't a run-of-the-mill ForTwo, it was festooned with Brabus badges, sported twin exhaust pipes and a chunky steering-wheel.
It's a cheeky design. It wears smart 16" Brabus Monoblock wheels at the front and 17" wheels at the back.
You might suspect that a car this tiny would be powered by a 900cc engine... and you'd be correct. Except the Brabus version's been warmed up to deliver a healthy 80kW/170Nm. The result is sprightly performance for a car a the size of a shoe.
From the outside, the ForTwo may look like a crammed city car built exclusively for people who only travel with an iPad. But it's a lot roomier than you'd think...
It's filled with niceties like cruise control, seat warmers, USB port and sat-nav.
Thanks to no rear bench, leg room for both driver and passenger is sufficient. I had no qualms positioning my lanky frame in the drivers seat. The fixed glass roof gives a feeling of airiness and the dark trim somehow doesn't make the cabin feel claustrophobic.
READ: New fortwo, forfour driven - Is it a Smart choice in SA?
The ForTwo's party trick? Well it's turning circle is smaller than tricycle.
Aaah, so you're wondering what it's like to drive?
In a word: fun. The little Brabus scoots off with enough urgency, the steering is on the right side of direct and despite its tallboy stance it didn't land on its side while I punched a ForTwo hole through a south-easter.
Yeah, it might not give you the confidence to really chuck it around a corner, but it has an endearing quality I thought it wouldn't possess. Stiffer dampers mean the ride quality can be jarring on bumpy roads, but it's something I could live with.
READ: 5 little things you should know about Smart's ForFour
But all this comes at a price... our Xclusiv model pushed the digits to an eye-watering R360 000.
I bet you saw the price and probably spluttered an expletive or eight. Sure there are better propositions out there, but they don't wear a Brabus badge.