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2009 smart fortwo brabus cabriolet Review

Souped-Up Smart

A three-quarter front view of a silver 2009 smart fortwo brabus cabriolet

In short: A small, yet sporty, space-saving convertible.

ost German aftermarket car builds seem as though they would be ready for a 24 Hours of Le Mans race, but not this version of the smart. It’s a cool micro car and very cute with its enhanced racing wheels, sport-tuned suspension, distinctive exhaust signature and maximum top speed raised to 96 mph. There’s also leather on the heated seats and an iPod jack in the glovebox, but that’s about it on the inside as there’s no other cue (such as a brabus badge) that this car is different; just an acceptable sound system without Bluetooth. And like civilized cars, you have to get used to the rolling gear shifts. There’s no doubt, however, that the driving factor is quite high, and here in the United States where the car is still relatively new, you end up turning more heads than you would while driving a Ferrari. There’s always someone examining a smart car in the parking lot. While the vehicle is road-ready and very at ease on Los Angeles’ freeways, it excels in the heart of the city. Smart cars should be standard for Londoners and Parisians for example, and with the brabus you get a cool-looking and sport-minded midget. Still, the Ferrari F430 is twice its size and many times faster. But then again, you’ll save on gas, insurance and speeding tickets. Not to mention, the brabus also has paddle shifting just like the F430. What we really like about this small convertible is its cabin space. Tall passengers have no problems fitting inside, and it may even be easier to accommodate people than a Mazda MX-5, or the F430, for that matter.

Read a review of the 2008 smart fortwo passion cabriolet

Warranty/Service: 2-year/24,000-mile warranty with the option to upgrade to a 3-year/36,000-mile warranty.

Base Price: $20,990

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: rear-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 2-passenger, 3-door convertible

Engine: 1.0-liter, inline 3-cylinder
Horsepower: 70 hp @ 5,800 rpm
Torque: 68 lb-ft @ 4,500 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed automated manual with paddle shifters

Curb weight: 1,852 lbs
Wheelbase: 73.5 in
Length/Width/Height: 106.1/61.4/60.71 in
Turning circle: 28.7 ft

Brakes: disc in front; drum in rear; ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution

Suspension: sports suspension
Traction: electronic stability program with hill-start assist

0-60 mph: 10.5 seconds
Top Speed: 96 mph

EPA City: 33 mpg
EPA Highway:
41 mpg

full-size driver and passenger airbags; head and neck side airbags; integral safety seats; tire pressure monitoring system; daytime running lights

cute; space saving; perfect for small cities

price; still would expect better mpg; road comfort


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Photography: AlphaMedia

PSV062509 (Updated 07/23/09 SV)