The smart #1 (pronounced “hashtag one”) made its global debut just a few days ago, and at the time, the joint venture between Geely and Mercedes-Benz said there would be a performance-focused variant on the way.

Well, recent photos out of China from Weibo user Jason Ferrari show exactly that, a hotter version of the #1 that CarNewsChina says will be branded a Brabus. The tuning company may be synonymous with Mercedes-Benz cars, but it has worked its magic on a few smart models too.

The uncamouflaged prototype you see here sports some distinct visual cues compared to the standard model, starting with two additional intakes just below the bonnet shut line. The corner intakes on the front bumper are also visibly different and come with horizontal slats, while the skid plate has been swapped out for a small lip bearing a red stripe.

The hue is also used for stripes on the side of the vehicle, just above new side skirts, while the roof, side mirrors and brake calipers also get a similar finish. Black door handles also provide some contrast with the main body colour and are joined by five-spoke wheels in place of the aerodynamically designed ones.

Other notable changes from the regular #1 are the additional pieces on the front fender and on the roof, which likely house a camera each and weren’t seen in the initial press photos. The rear doesn’t differ much besides the addition of a larger rear spoiler.

As for performance, it is reported that the Brabus-tuned, performance version of the #1 will come with dual electric motors that provide a combined 406 PS (400 hp or 299 kW), likely with a larger battery. For context, the regular model gets a single rear-mounted electric motor rated at 272 PS (264 hp or 200 kW) and 343 Nm of torque – a 66-kWh lithium-ion battery provides power and a range of up to 440 km following the WLTP.

We’ll have to wait for the carmaker to officially unveil a faster #1 before these details can be confirmed, but if these figures are to be believed, the hotter #1 could be the brand’s fastest ever production model.

Interested? Well, it’s already confirmed that the #1 will be sold in Malaysia through Proton Edar, so there’s a possibility that the performance variant will be brought in as a halo offering. Should it indeed get the Brabus name attached, it should hold more sway over car buyers here.

GALLERY: smart #1 Launch Edition