A prototype of the new Smart Fortwo Brabus has been spied testing on public roads in Europe.
The camouflaged pocket-rocket, captured by CarAdvice’s spy photographers, appears less than a week after Daimler’s city-car division officially unveiled its pint-sized third-generation Fortwo and larger second-gen Forfour.
The new Brabus is most easily distinguished from the regular Fortwo by its twin exhaust outlets and larger rear wheels with low-profile tyres.
The production version is expected to be further differentiated with a unique front grille, more muscular front and rear bumpers, lowered suspension, and other sporting touches. The cabin will also benefit from a number of performance-themed enhancements.
Reports suggest the Smart Fortwo Brabus will be powered by an uprated version of the regular car’s Renault-developed turbocharged 0.9-litre three-cylinder petrol engine. The engine produces 66kW and 135Nm in base form, though is said to crank out somewhere between 78-90kW in tuned Brabus specification.
The new model is almost certain to improve on the old Brabus, which produced 76kW from its 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo engine and claimed to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 8.9 seconds.
As with the regular versions, the Smart Fortwo Brabus should be available with the choice of five-speed manual and six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmissions.
The Smart Fortwo Brabus is tipped to debut sometime in 2015, potentially as early as March’s Geneva motor show. The high-performance Brabus will sit at the top of the Smart Fortwo range, which will expand to include Cabrio and EV variants in the coming years.
Previous generations of the Fortwo Brabus were not sold in Australia. The larger Forfour Brabus was available locally in 2006 for $39,900.
Mercedes-Benz Australia is yet to decide whether it will sell the new generation of Smart vehicles. It is currently offering the runout second-gen Fortwo from $18,990 driveaway.