smart and Brabus Partnership History
10 years of smart-BRABUS stands for more than 50,000 customised vehicles and lots of delighted smart customers
by John Clark | 24 July 2012
Sporty smarts are called BRABUS – and have been for ten years already. In 2002 smart and the tuning specialist BRABUS founded a joint company. As early as 2003 the first premium models developed by the joint venture smart-BRABUS GmbH –the smart fortwo BRABUS coupé and cabrio – were introduced on the market. Now the companies are celebrating their anniversary with the unique and exclusively equipped “10th anniversary” special model.
smart boss Dr Annette Winkler says: “10 years of smart-BRABUS stands for more than 50,000 customised vehicles and lots of delighted customers. The fact that we already produced more than 10,000 smarts together last year shows that we still have lots of potential for further growth and high profitability with this creative and efficient team.” Bodo Buschmann, CEO of the BRABUS Group, adds: “The cooperation with smart has developed extremely well in the past ten years. This means that BRABUS is not only a synonym for fast, but also highly exclusive sports cars. And we still have lots of ideas how smart and BRABUS can continue to grow together.”
Since the launch of the first smart fortwo BRABUS more than 50,000 customers worldwide have opted for a smart model customised by the joint venture. The customisation programme “smart BRABUS tailor made” that was launched two years ago and has now become established throughout Europe is also very successful. In 2012 it will also be extended to customers in the USA and China. According to the current forecast, more than 1000 customers will choose the smart-BRABUS tailor made offering this year. tailor made underlines one of the great strengths of smart-BRABUS – individualisation of the vehicle interior and exterior. In Germany, for example, prices start at €2999 incl. VAT for an exterior colour of the customer’s choice or exclusive leather appointments in the interior.
Here is an overview of the most important models from smart BRABUS:
|June 2002||smart BRABUS 1st edition|
|May 2003||smart fortwo BRABUS (production model)|
|June 2003||smart fortwo BRABUS “edition starblue”,|
|July 2003||smart roadster BRABUS V6 biturbo|
|October 2003||smart roadster BRABUS “edition bluewave”|
|April 2004||smart roadster BRABUS|
|November 2004||BRABUS Ultimate 101|
|March 2005||smart forfour BRABUS|
|March 2007||smart fortwo BRABUS (second model generation)|
|October 2007||BRABUS Ultimate 112|
|May 2008||smart fortwo BRABUS “Edition 10″|
|March 2009||Study: smart fortwo BRABUS electric drive|
|May 2009||smart fortwo BRABUS USA version|
|March 2010||Customisation programme smart BRABUS tailor made|
|March 2011||BRABUS Ultimate Style|
|September 2011||smart BRABUS tailor made by WeSC|
|March 2012||smart fortwo BRABUS/Xclusive facelift,|
|BRABUS Ultimate 120,|
|smart BRABUS electric drive,|
|smart BRABUS ebike (study)|
|July 2012||smart BRABUS 10th anniversary|
Ten years of smart BRABUS: customisation – a success story
Flexible small-scale manufacturer for discerning customers
smart BRABUS GmbH is a joint venture between smart and BRABUS and stands for premium automotive enhancement. In the past ten years more than 50,000 customers have opted for products that were developed or produced in cooperation with the engineers from BRABUS. 2011 was the most successful year to date with more than 10,000 smart fortwos customised by BRABUS.
Today smart offers two model lines in cooperation with BRABUS: the smart BRABUS and the smart BRABUS Xclusive. The smart BRABUS engineers and designers place a particular focus on two areas. Firstly, enhancing the performance. The 75 kW (102 hp) turbo engine accelerates the coupé and cabrio from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.9 seconds. The sporty transmission configuration, suspension components developed specially for smart and a number of aerodynamic elements also ensure all-round sporty driving dynamics. The second focus is on enhancing the appearance of the whole vehicle with exclusive design elements in high-quality materials such as leather, brushed aluminium and bright stainless steel.
Sporty: the smart BRABUS
As well as a 75 kW (102 hp) turbo engine with sporty transmission configuration, the smart BRABUS has “Monoblock VII” alloy wheels with front tyres: 175/50 R 16; rear tyres: 225/35 R 17, a sports suspension lowering the vehicle by 10 mm, front fog lamps, a sports exhaust with rear apron in black, BRABUS logo at the front, rear and in the mirror triangle, and a panoramic roof (coupé; incl. sunblind). The tridion safety cell comes in black, or is alternatively available in silver or white. Among other things the interior is upgraded by BRABUS dashboard instruments (cockpit clock & rev counter), a gear knob in leather/aluminium, an aluminium hand brake lever and sports pedals in stainless steel with rubber nubs. There is also a 3-spoke leather sports steering wheel with steering wheel gearshift, air conditioning with automatic temperature control (incl. dust and pollen filter) and electric windows. The fabric upholstery comes in design black and the interior contrast components in pearl black. Fabric elements on the instrument panel, door trim and knee pad, colour-coordinated with the upholstery, round off the stylish look of the smart BRABUS.
Uncompromising: smart BRABUS Xclusive
Fine materials, exclusive styling and plenty of power: from the dynamic exterior to the high-quality interior equipment, the smart fortwo BRABUS Xclusive leaves virtually nothing to be desired. In addition to the equipment of the smart BRABUS, the Xclusive also has a front spoiler and side skirts in the bodypanel colour and headlamps with titanium-coloured surrounds. In the interior the BRABUS Xclusive features heated leather seats, silver stitching and the BRABUS logo embossed in the headrests. The air conditioning has automatic temperature control (incl. dust and pollen filter). The contrast components come in aluminium look, and the instrument panel and door trim in leather optic.
Anything is possible: smart BRABUS tailor made
With the almost unlimited options available from smart BRABUS tailor made smart buyers can contribute creative ideas to the design of their two-seater and give their vehicle their own personal touch. smart’s customisation programme meets the needs of all those customers who want to drive a smart fortwo tailored to their own ideas in line with the principle “anything is possible”. For example, customers can choose the exterior colour, types of leather and cabrio soft top colour from a wide range. There are barely any limits. The following are available:
- Exterior finishes in thousands of different colours
- Leather in 30 basic colours and exclusive design variants
- Six cabrio soft top colours
The whole smart-BRABUS range of accessories
To help smart customers to find their own style, a number of attractive tailor-made packages are available. The tailor-made models are made-to-measure in the truest sense of the word. This means that they are individually customised at the factory with masterly craftsmanship using top quality materials and parts tested by the manufacturer – with a full manufacturer’s guarantee.
Dynamic and powerful acceleration: the smart BRABUS electric drive
Zero local emissions but maximum driving fun: the smart BRABUS electric drive proves that cutting-edge urban mobility can be combined with lively agility and a sporty look. The electric motor is based on the state-of-the-art drive technology of the new smart fortwo electric drive and has an output of 60 kW. It delivers maximum torque of 135 Nm which means that the smart BRABUS electric drive almost always wins when pulling away at the traffic lights. The new BRABUS sports suspension makes a decisive contribution to driving fun by bringing the vehicle approximately ten millimetres closer to the asphalt. The sporty character is accompanied by a special BRABUS sound to match, generated by a sound module. The smart BRABUS electric drive comes with a BRABUS sports steering wheel with steering wheel gearshift as a standard feature. Recuperation can be regulated with the help of the shift paddles.
The smart BRABUS electric drive has a dynamic look that also signals environmental friendliness: the tridion safety cell and mirror covers are painted in electric green whilst black dominates on all other body parts – even the front grille. Dark BRABUS headlamps, BRABUS “Monoblock VII” alloy wheels measuring 16″ at the front and 17″ at the rear, and BRABUS Xclusive aerodynamic body styling parts (a front spoiler and a special rear apron insert with double reflectors) round off the sporty look.
In the interior, accent trim parts and contrast components also come in electric green. Numerous BRABUS Xclusive components, including the instrument panel and interior door trim in leather look, leather seats, stainless steel sports pedals with rubber nubs, BRABUS hand brake lever and BRABUS dashboard instruments (cockpit clock and rev counter) lend the interior a dynamic and exclusive look.
The smart BRABUS electric drive will be available from smart centers in 12 countries from the end of this year.
Max. speed up to 45 km/h: the smart BRABUS ebike
The smart BRABUS ebike has the features typical of BRABUS – more style, more power and more exclusiveness. It has a dynamic look with the frame and fork in matt black and components such as quick release skewers, pedals and brake callipers in anodised green providing a striking contrast. Saddle and grips come in green leather. A four-piston brake system is fitted on the front wheel. The matt black four-spoke wheels are made of carbon. Further components that distinguish the smart BRABUS ebike from the smart ebike are Sport Contact tyres, weight-optimised cranks and pedals and the carbon seatpost.
With 500 watts the electric motor is twice as powerful as that of the smart ebike. At the same time BRABUS has managed to reduce the weight of the ebike by more than ten percent. This makes for particularly agile performance: the two-wheeler, which requires a license plate, has a top speed of 45 km/h. The rider decides how much assistance to their muscle power they would like from the electric motor using the throttle grip. There is a choice of four power levels with the fourth and highest level providing maximum pushing power.
The production version of the smart BRABUS ebike is expected to be available from dealers from the end of 2012.
Milestones in the cooperation between smart and BRABUS
March 2002: the 50:50 joint venture between smart and BRABUS is founded. BRABUS founder Bodo Buschmann is the Managing Director of smart BRABUS GmbH. The smart BRABUS 1st edition is presented at the Geneva Motor Show – initially as a study.
June 2002: the first jointly produced model, the smart BRABUS 1st edition, goes on sale as a coupé and a cabrio. It is characterised by a 52 kW (70 hp) uprated engine, a sporty body kit and exclusive interior appointments with leather and carbon. It is produced in a limited edition of 500 vehicles.
May 2003: the smart city coupé BRABUS and smart cabrio BRABUS, soon to be renamed smart fortwo BRABUS, are launched in 2003 and now represent the top of the model range. They meet the highest customer demands as regards exclusiveness, individuality, innovation and dynamics. Both top versions are fitted with a powerful 55 kW (75 hp) engine enabling a top speed of 150 km/h.
July 2003:with the smart roadster-coupé Brabus V6 biturbo, in cooperation with smart and Mercedes-Benz (engine development) BRABUS shows what is possible. Two standard production engines, each with capacity of 698 cc, three cylinders and their turbochargers are connected with a newly constructed crankcase and installed at the rear of the coupé. The über-smart has power output of 125 kW (170 hp) and sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in less than six seconds. Ten prototypes are built.
March 2004: world premiere of the BRABUS versions of the smart roadster and coupé at the Geneva Motor Show. Both variants are enhanced in terms of power and equipment. They now have an output of 74 kW (101 hp) and reach top speeds of 190 (roadster) and 195 km/h (roadster-coupé) respectively. The standard equipment of the agile two-seaters includes sports suspension and 17-inch alloy rims, softouch automatic transmission, black leather heated sports seats and a 3-spoke leather sports steering wheel with steering wheel gearshift.
27 April 2004: the new Bottrop headquarters of the company smart-BRABUS GmbH, founded in March 2002, are officially inaugurated with a ceremony. The state-of-the-art technology and competence centre of the joint venture between smart and the tuning specialist BRABUS has an area of almost 9,000 square metres. In addition to ultramodern vehicle workplaces, this building built with an investment of €16 million accommodates a development department with computer-controlled test benches and the administrative headquarters of the joint venture. With the decision to set up the headquarters here, smart-BRABUS GmbH created 120 new jobs in Bottrop.
November 2004: the limited special model “BRABUS ULTIMATE 101″ based on the smart fortwo with a production volume of 101 vehicles is presented. It costs €39,900 and, in addition to a special finish in racing red or a colour of the customer’s choice that also includes the safety cell, it has a 74 kW (101 hp) uprated engine. It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 11.9 s and has an electronically regulated top speed of 160 km/h. The suspension and tyres are adapted to this speed.
March 2005: world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show for the new smart forfour BRABUS. A maximum speed of 221 km/h, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds and even more driving pleasure mark the four-seater BRABUS as a premium vehicle for connoisseurs and enthusiasts. Leather in the interior creates a premium class atmosphere, which is underlined by leather-covered headrests and velour floor mats sporting BRABUS lettering.
March 2007: sportiness in an exclusive guise: the BRABUS models of the new smart fortwo as a coupé or a cabrio are premiered in Geneva with the market launch following in the autumn. With a reengineered 72 kW (98 hp) three-cylinder turbo engine the smart fortwo BRABUS and the smart fortwo BRABUS Xclusive have 30 percent more power than their predecessors, yet still boast low fuel consumption of only 5.2 l/100 km. The sporty two-door car accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 9.9 seconds and reaches a top speed of 155 km/h. What’s more, the two BRABUS variants boast an extremely low power-to-weight ratio: at just 7.8 kg/hp this is 24 percent lower than that of the previous BRABUS variant.
The smart fortwo BRABUS Xclusive lives up to its name with additional equipment details such as H7 projection headlamps with titanium-coloured surrounds, a front spoiler with enlarged air inlets, striking side skirts and a special rear apron. All body styling parts are painted in the car’s exterior colour. The seats are upholstered with fine leather, heated, and feature head/thorax side airbags as standard. The leather-effect instrument panel boasts aluminium-look trims.
October 2007: the BRABUS ULTIMATE 112 based on the new smart fortwo cabrio or coupé offers a symbiosis of extravagant equipment, sporty performance and agile handling that is unique for a city sports car. The body comes in a flaming pearl metallic orange special finish or in a colour of the customer’s choice, the interior features exclusive black BRABUS leather upholstery with orange seams or a colour chosen by the customer. In addition to the special finish, the muscular body kit with front spoiler, side skirts and BRABUS WIDESTAR wheel arches at the front and rear catch the eye. As the name of the exclusive special model indicates, this model packs a powerful punch with 82.4 kW (112 hp). Needing just 3.9 seconds to reach 60 km/h and with an electronically limited top speed of 170 km/h this is one fast mover. The ULTIMATE 112 rolls on gleaming black painted Monoblock VI twin-spoke wheels measuring 7Jx18 with 205/35 R 18 tyres at the front, and 8.5Jx18 wheels with 235/30 R 18 tyres at the rear.
May 2008: to mark the tenth anniversary of the smart fortwo a new special model for German customers is introduced on the market. From September the smart fortwo edition 10 is produced in a limited edition of just 500 vehicles. The smart fortwo edition 10 is available as a coupé or a cabrio. The exterior stands out with bodypanels, mirror covers and front grille in the colour dark brown metallic in conjunction with a silver tridion safety cell. The exclusive two-tone leather interior in sand beige/chocolate with contrasting stitching harmonises with this and enhances the seats, the 2-spoke steering wheel, the door inside panels, door pockets, instrument panel, knee pad and the hand brake lever trim. Accent trim parts and contrast components painted in the exterior colour are further eye-catching highlights. The gear knob, hand brake lever and velour floor mats in an “edition 10″ design, special stitching in the seat backrest and the “edition 10″ label in the mirror triangle and on the tailgate round off the exclusive appearance of the limited special model.
March 2010: smart-BRABUS tailor made is launched. From now on smart increasingly fulfils unusual customer wishes.
September 2011: smart and the street fashion brand WeSC team up and present the fruits of their “golden” cooperation at the International Motor Show in Frankfurt: the “smart BRABUS tailor made by WeSC” and the “headphones for the smart by WeSC”. The smart fortwo cabrio is completely painted in shades of gold, some of which are matt and some shiny, all specially created by the tuning specialist BRABUS for the Swedish label. The deep black rims and leather seats with horizontal stitching in the interior bear the clear hallmark of the street style experts. In return smart designed the 32-ohm headphones from WeSC and based the design on the look of the car with perforated black ear cushions and shiny gold accents. See photo below.
March 2012: with the smart fortwo BRABUS electric drive a near-series show car from smart BRABUS with electric drive and a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery celebrates its world premiere at the Geneva Motor Show. Here, ecology and a feast for the senses go hand in hand. The light and airy design of the smart fortwo BRABUS electric drive coupled with fine natural materials demonstrate harmony with the environment and at the same time elevate the pleasure of owning and driving this vehicle to an even higher level. The sports suspension with BRABUS “Monoblock VII” alloy wheels in a five twin-spoke design and matt white exterior and interior trims convey a sporty and functional impression. The smart fortwo BRABUS electric drive is additionally equipped with a BRABUS sound generator which generates a sound specially developed for the smart fortwo electric drive via the power output.
March 2012: BRABUS Ultimate 120 – the ultimate city sports car. As the name indicates, this open two-seater is a super-smart with power output of 88.3 kW (120 hp) and a top speed of 170 km/h. It is built in a limited edition of just 120 numbered vehicles. The new BRABUS Monoblock F “Platinum Edition” forged wheels with the dimensions 7Jx18 on the front axle are fitted with 205/35 R 18 high-performance tyres. At the rear the wheels measure 8.5Jx18 with 235/30 R 18 tyres. The height-adjustable BRABUS coil-over sports suspension, which combines direct, safe and sporty handling with a high level of ride comfort, is specially configured for the ultra-flat tyres and the wider track. A high-performance braking system from BRABUS with perforated discs and 4-piston fixed-calliper brakes on the front axle painted in the body colour offers enormous deceleration and maximum fatigue strength. Needing just 8.9 seconds to sprint to 100 km/h and with an electrically limited top speed of 170 km/h the cabrio also sets a benchmark in its class in this discipline. This impressive performance also has the sound to match thanks to a BRABUS stainless steel sports exhaust system with two chrome-plated tail pipes.
The ULTIMATE 120 also features exquisite highlights in the cockpit: the whole interior is covered with particularly soft and breathable BRABUS mastic leather in black with red contrasting stitching matching the outer skin, or in a colour of the customer’s choice. To guarantee optimal side support during fast cornering the city sports car is equipped with Recaro Sportster seats. These are not only covered with the finest BRABUS leather – their seat backrest shells are painted in the colour of the outer skin.