It’s not easy trying to choose an EV these days, especially if you want it to look unconventional, be fun to drive, be a car which harnesses that tasty instant torque and also package all of the practicalities of being a family car, all whilst not costing the earth – this could be the answer: The Smart BRABUS #3. In the evolving landscape of electric vehicles, the Smart BRABUS #3 marks its territory. It nudges past its forerunner, the #1, with improved aerodynamics and increased range. Balancing exhilaration with practicality, this latest iteration aims to cater to diverse urban driving needs, equipped with rapid charging and enhanced driving dynamics.
The Smart BRABUS #3 is equipped with a 66kWh battery, offering a range of 415 to 455 kilometres, a notable improvement from the entry-level 49kWh variant’s 322 kilometres. Rapid charging capabilities allow both batteries to reach 10-80% charge in under 30 minutes, utilising 130kW and 150kW chargers respectively.
The single motor variants of the Smart #3 achieve a 0-100km/h acceleration in a swift 5.8 seconds. However, the twin-motor version, which we tested, delivers a remarkable increase in power, from 268bhp to 422bhp. Activating ‘Rocket Start, this model can reach 0-100km/h in just 3.7 seconds, it feels as potent as the numbers would suggest. The Smart BRABUS #3 exhibits a more engaging and controlled driving experience compared to the #1 model, particularly on winding roads. Smart has enhanced the car’s dynamics by stiffening the suspension and lowering the ride height and roofline. This results in a more controlled and sharper cornering ability, with reduced body roll and improved surface grip. The rear motor actively contributes to cornering dynamics, offering a more thrilling drive akin to the Golf R, albeit without a drift mode.
The steering in the #3 was precise, bust distinctly lacked tactile feedback, however this appears to be widespread across the EV spectrum. The ride, while firmer, remains comfortably tolerable, easily handling the rough terrain of Mallorca without discomfort.
The interior mirrors that of the #1, featuring high-quality materials and a well-constructed dashboard. The front of the cabin provides ample storage, including an air-conditioned central armrest compartment. Standard on all models, the panoramic roof opts for a heavy tint instead of a roller blind, enhancing headroom while minimising weight. Although legroom is impressive for the car’s size, the boot space is limited and lacks the adjustable rear bench feature found in the #1.
The Smart BRABUS #3 adeptly addresses customer feedback, delivering a blend of exhilaration and practicality in a compact form, suitable for a family’s sole vehicle. Its range and efficiency, although not outstanding, meet the needs of most users. The swift charging feature alleviates the inconvenience of longer journeys. Caution is advised though, as heavy acceleration can notably diminish the vehicle’s range.
The pros are plentiful, this is great step for Smart and the BRABUS #3 should be considered by all looking for a family car with an added kick.