Ali's Smart Roadster Brabus Xclusive 101
You don't see many Smart Roadsters tuned by Brabus around here. Tell us about it…
I first saw the Brabus Smart Roadster at the 2005 Frankfurt motor show. I spent hours ogling the car and said to myself, "this is what I'm looking for."
Ever since, I've been searching for one. But, as there's no official dealer for these cars in the Middle East, I got in touch with one in Germany who had a Brabus version with just 6,000km on the clock. Without any hesitation, I transferred the full amount to pay for the car and they shipped it to me.
How often do you drive it?
It's not something I drive daily and I rarely venture onto the highways with it.
Also, I never drive it in the summer months since it isn't a Gulf spec car and I sometimes face overheating issues. I am doing my best to maintain it and keep it in great condition because these cars are very rare. The production only ran from 2003 to 2006 so, as you can imagine, there are not many of them around. Mine is one of the rarest models; it's the Xclusive 101.
So, what exactly does your Brabus Smart Roadster feature?
My Roadster has a Brabus body kit, which includes a different front splitter, grille, side skirts, and rear spoiler. It also has Brabus Monoblock VI 17in wheels, Brabus Bilstein gas dampers as well as Brabus Eibach sports springs.
As for the interior, it's been fitted with the following Brabus goodies: a push-start button on the gear knob, a recalibrated speedometer that goes up to 220kph, and Brabus handbrake, pedals and badges. It also has a three-spoke steering wheel with paddle shifters, black leather sport seats and plenty of carbon fibre trim.
However, I have plans to change the interior to red to give it a more aggressive look and I'd also like to foil the exterior in Ferrari red or matte white.
And what has Brabus done to the engine?
The basic engine is pretty small, it's just a 700cc three-cylinder with a six-speed automatic. Brabus tweaks include a turbo, fuel injectors, new cam shaft, valve springs, sodium-filled exhaust valves, Brabus clutch and gearbox and a Brabus ECU. It has made it one exciting car, I can tell you that. And, to cap it all off, it comes with a Brabus engine plaque.
That is an extensive list of modifications. Have you added anything of your own?
I added a blow-off valve for the turbo and wheel spacers.
It sure looks like fun to drive. Is it?
It certainly is very enjoyable. The acceleration is acceptable but once you reach 3,000rpm the turbo kicks in and you can really feel it move.
I bet, it weighs less than a 1,000kg...
Actually, it weighs just 790kg and as a result it handles brilliantly. Even when I am driving fast, it remains perfectly poised. I am glad I bought this over the Opel Speedster and Lotus Elise — the two other cars that I was considering.
It must get a lot of attention…
People often stop me to ask what type of car it is as they don't see many of them around. I haven't seen any other Smart Brabus in the UAE. Whenever I park, anywhere, people come to take photos of my car.
I remember once the owner of a Mercedes SLS tried to race me. I told him that I wasn't interested and then he asked me what type of car this was. When I told him, he was surprised and said he thought it was a 500bhp supercar. I couldn't stop laughing.
Does it give you any problems?
The only problem I face is the availability of spare parts. No garages here stock parts so I have to buy everything online from Germany or the UK but freight charges are quite expensive.
What is your dream car?
A Ferrari 458 Italia. I love the styling and the sound of its V8. If I ever get one, I'll take it directly to the Yas Marina circuit for a few hot laps.
Name Ali Ahmad Al Qubaisi
Job Accounts supervisor
From Abu Dhabi
Wheels 2006 Smart Roadster Brabus Xclusive 101
In the UAE Born here