Unveiled in April 2022, the Smart #1 electric subcompact crossover has already received attention from Brabus, the tuner that made a name for itself modifying Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
Brabus has also been tuning Smart vehicles since 2002, when the brand was fully owned by Mercedes-Benz Group (formerly known as Daimler), and it looks like it plans to continue doing so now that Smart is a 50:50 joint venture between Mercedes-Benz Group and China’s Zhejiang Geely Holding Group.
We say that because Smart is teasing a #1 Brabus Performance Edition in China, previewing the launch of a sporty-themed model. Scheduled to make its public debut on August 26 at the Chengdu Auto Show, the Smart #1 Brabus Performance Edition brings a beefier look compared to the regular model revealed earlier this year.
The most obvious changes include the redesigned bumpers with new air intakes and red inserts, additional intakes between the headlights, 19-inch alloys, a larger spoiler painted red and a dual-tone paint job combining a red roof with a gray body. In addition, all the exterior badges are in matte gray.
Inside, the Smart #1 Brabus Performance Edition brings red accents on the dashboard, headrests and seats, with the seatbelts also being red. The cabin also gets an aluminum pedal set and sports seats wrapped in a combination of Alcantara, leather and microfiber.
While these styling tweaks give the Smart #1 a more hot-hatch-like appearance, the big question is if Brabus made any performance upgrades. The specifications are not out yet, but Chinese media speculates that the Smart #1 by Brabus could pack a dual-motor setup and all-wheel drive.
Thanks to the additional electric motor added to the front axle, the vehicle is rumored to make 324 kilowatts (434 horsepower), which would be a huge upgrade from the regular model’s 200 kW (268 hp) single motor powertrain.
If the rumors prove to be true, the Smart #1 Brabus Performance Edition should be much quicker than the standard model, although range would probably be lower if it features the same 66-kWh battery. With such a power boost, Brabus would do well to upgrade the brakes and suspension as well. Then again, the brakes do seem beefier in these photos, in addition to sporting red calipers.
According to Chinese media, the Smart #1 by Brabus will go on sale on the day of its Chengdu Auto Show debut (August 26), with the first deliveries expected in September.