Does a 103-hp, three-cylinder, commuter car fit in with the stereotype of a tuner vehicle? Not necessarily, but, for the last ten years, Mercedes-Benz tuning firm Brabus has worked alongside Daimler to help inject some personality into the otherwise unexciting Smart product portfolio. To celebrate that milestone, the two firms have created a special 10th anniversary model – essentially a gussied-up version of an already gussied-up ForTwo.
Brabus typically prides itself on allowing its European clientele to extensively personalize ForTwo models it modifies, but in this instance, their hands may be a bit tied. All 100 examples of this 10th Anniversary ForTwo receive the typical Brabus exterior amendments (i.e. body kit, gaping grille, “giant” 16 and 17-inch Monobloc wheels), but the car is doused from head to toe — Tridon body shell included — in liquid silver paint. Brabus also paints the headlamp surrounds in a contrasting titanium color that matches the finish used on the wheels.
Interior revisions are also limited to minor cosmetic tweaks. The all-charcoal cabin receives some bright red accent thanks to unique dashboard trim, along with red piping and stitching on both the door panels and bucket seats. Those seats also receive embroidered 10th anniversary logos placed on the inside of their innermost bolsters. A keyless, push-button start switch is embedded into the shift knob, while a serialized emblem plate is applied to the dashboard.
Mechanically speaking, the special-edition Brabus ForTwo is essentially business as usual. As such, power – all 101 hp of it – comes from a turbocharged version of the ForTwo’s small 1.3-liter inline three-cylinder engine, mated to the same five-speed automated manual transmission used on U.S.-spec models. That doesn’t sound like much, but it is a 30-hp jump on the U.S.-market ForTwo, and enough to have the micro machine move from 0-62 mph in 8.9 seconds.
Does that make it a sports car? No, but it doesn’t need to be, according to Brabus president Bodo Buschmann. “The cooperation with Smart has developed extremely well in the past ten years,” Buschmann said in a prepared release. “This means Brabus is not only a synonym for fast, but also highly exclusive cars. And we still have lots of ideas on how Smart and Brabus can continue to grow together.
It’s extremely unlikely the Brabus 10th Anniversary ForTwo will be heading our way, seeing as only 100 models are planned, and there isn’t presently a Brabus model offered on our shores. That latter point may soon change, however, as Brabus notes it hopes to launch its infinitely-variable customization program for the ForTwo in the U.S. later in 2012. Here’s hoping we’re at least allowed to order the turbocharged engine…