A set of photos from a garage in China suggest that the Smart #1 could soon get the already confirmed performance-focused variant, possibly being signed off by Brabus. An uncamouflaged prototype of the electric SUV was spotted in underground parking by Weibo user Jason Ferrari showing some visual tweaks compared to the standard model.
The dusty prototype has two additional intakes below the bonnet shut line, slightly different intakes on the front bumper, and patches of red trim on the skid plates and side sills. We can also see different five-spoke wheels replacing the aerodynamically designed rims of the standard #1, giving us a better view of the large brakes with red calipers. Finally, the rear spoiler is larger but neatly integrated with the design.
The smart #1 that was introduced in April 7 (below) versus the camo-free prototype with the sportier bits (above).
A closer examination reveals an extra black piece sticking out of the front fenders – likely a camera – which was not there in the press photos of the regular #1. Another camera is mounted on the roof, pointing rearwards, features that could be added to other variants of the #1.
The silver color on the bumpers is different from the light green main exterior shade that is combined with a red-painted roof and mirror caps, showing that this is a prototype used in the earlier testing phase. We can still see small pieces of camouflage wrapped under the doors, similar to the camouflaged prototypes caught by our spy photographers last month.
While the prototype only comes with the traditional smart emblems on both ends and on the floating C-pillar, it is possible that the production version will be Brabus-themed, following the tradition of quicker and sportier smart models. After all, the German tuner is present in smart’s electric era with the ultra-expensive 92R based on the EQ Fortwo.
It could have as much as 400 HP
According to Car News China the performance-focused version of the Smart #1 is expected to be fitted with dual electric motors producing a combined 400 hp (299 kW / 406 PS). This would be more than enough to provide the SUV with hot-hatch rivaling performance.
Mind you, the regular Smart #1 comes with a single rear-mounted electric motor producing 264 hp (200 kW / 272 PS) and 343 Nm (252 lb-ft) of torque. The model is fitted with a 66 kWh underfloor battery allowing a 273-mile (440 km) range but the Geely-engineered SEA architecture is compatible with larger battery packs.
While we can only speculate at the moment, the performance-focused smart could be unveiled as early as this year, expanding smart’s range in a new segment. Judging from the capabilities of the platform, this could be smart’s fastest ever production model as well as the largest and most practical one.