SPOTTED: SMART FORFOUR BRABUS
Exclusivity assured with this slice of turbocharged hot hatchery
Mitsubishi Colt CZT, which made do with just 147hp.
0-62mph in 6.9 seconds and a 137mph official top speed are nothing to be sniffed at and the muscular power delivery ensures it feels as exciting as it sounds. A quick browse about reveals that the 1.5-litre Mitsubishi engine does have a little headroom for additional tuning too, should that be your desire. Heck, there's even one that races in Britcar.
As memory serves the Brabus'd ForFour is entertainingly raw and a little uncouth, with plenty of turbocharged torque (steer) and a fairly uncompromising ride. That relative lack of weight works in its favour though and what it lacks in the last word in finesse it makes up for in punch. The electric steering was never the most feelsome but the relative lack of weight and general flingability are appealing, ditto the relatively reasonable 40mpg+ and 159g/km running costs. Those plastic panels give the ForFour a distinctive look too, the black on black of this car diluting that effect somewhat but in contrasting colours as many were making the four-door Smart look genuinely a bit different. Fair to say the rear three-quarter view works better than that disappointingly 'soft' front end but it's not without appeal.
What else might tempt you for the money? Well, the purist's hot hatch of choice from this period would be a Clio 182 of some description but good ones are going to cost you a bit more than this. A Mini Cooper S might tick some of the same boxes too but you'll be paying as much as double for the privilege. Perhaps not the obvious choice then but if you value individuality and fancy a hot hatch with a difference it could well be worth a look.
SMART FORFOUR BRABUS
Engine: 1,468cc 4-cylinder, turbocharged
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Power (hp): 177@6,000rpm
Torque (lb ft): 169@3,500rpm
MPG: 41.5mpg (NEDC combined)
First registered: 2006
Recorded mileage: 72,500
Price new: £17,195
Yours for: £3,995