smart #1 Brabus EV previewed in Malaysia – dual-motor AWD, 428 PS, 543 Nm, 0-100 in 3.9s, RM250k est

smart #1 Brabus EV previewed in Malaysia – dual-motor AWD, 428 PS, 543 Nm, 0-100 in 3.9s, RM250k est

We’re done with the previews for the smart #1 in Premium form, and it’s open for booking, but there’s more pre-launch activity before the EV reaches showrooms and the driveways of affluent owners. smart Malaysia is also introducing the Brabus version of the #1 (pronounced hashtag one), and the high-performance EV is currently being previewed at the International Electric Mobility Showcase (IEMS) event at the KL Convention Centre.

Let’s jump right into the performance section, which is the biggest differentiator. The smart #1 Brabus isn’t just a fancy bodykitted version, but a proper performance flagship of the range. Compared to the regular #1, the Brabus adds an electric motor at the front for dual-motor AWD performance. Total output is 428 PS (315 kW) and 543 Nm of instant torque, pushing the crossover from rest to 100 km/h in 3.9 seconds. Top speed is 180 km/h.

That’s a significant jump from the single-motor #1’s 272 PS (200 kW) and 343 Nm – to be exact, the difference is 156 PS and 200 Nm. The Pro/Premium does the century sprint in 6.7 seconds (Brabus is 2.8 seconds faster) with a similar top speed. The Brabus tips the scales at 1,900 kg, 100 kilos more than the Premium.

smart #1 Brabus EV previewed in Malaysia – dual-motor AWD, 428 PS, 543 Nm, 0-100 in 3.9s, RM250k est

Want some sound to go along with the speed? Choose from ‘smart original sounds’ – sampled from the previous ICE-powered smart Brabus – or a ‘classic’ analog sound inspired by an ‘amazingly powerful V6 engine’. The latter is hilarious.

The Brabus’ motors are powered by a 66 kWh nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) battery and WLTP-rated range is 400 km. This is the same power source as the Premium, which has 40 km of extra range (the base Pro uses a 49 kWh lithium LFP battery for 315 km range). Also like the Premium, 22 kW AC charging is available, which makes refilling SOC from 10-80% a relatively brisk affair at three hours.

As pointed out before, 22 kW AC charging is pretty rare in the EV market, where 11 kW is the default charging rate. In Malaysia, only the ’55 quattro’ variants of Audi’s e-tron models and the Porsche Taycan support 22 kW AC charging, while some of the more affordable EVs take in just 7 kW.

smart #1 Brabus EV previewed in Malaysia – dual-motor AWD, 428 PS, 543 Nm, 0-100 in 3.9s, RM250k est

22 kW AC is a unique selling point – imagine have a long lunch break or rest time at home and when you’re done, the #1 is replenished, all without paying DC rates. It gives an owner added flexibility. On that note, DC fast charging at 150 kW juices the battery from 10-80% SOC in 29 minutes. A vehicle-to-load (V2L) function – power output to a domestic three-point plug – is also available.

To recap, the smart #1 is a giant hatchback that’s rather similar in concept to the MINI Countryman – this ain’t no compact city car like the original smart. At 4,270 mm long and 1,822 mm wide, the #1 also has a similar footprint to the maxi MINI, but its 2,750 mm wheelbase is very long for ICE car standards, 80 mm longer than the Countryman’s and 15 mm longer than the wheelbase of a Honda Civic.

That long wheelbase is apparent in the metal, as are the #1’s width and rather unSUV-like ground clearance. At 182 mm, the GC is car-like. Boot space is up to 411 litres, expandable to 986 litres with rear seats folded. There’s a little ‘frunk’ in front that takes in 15 litres – the cavity is small, but might be useful for small items that you don’t want sliding around in the boot, or pungent food.

In front, the Brabus’ status as the sporty one is marked by letterbox vents either side of the smart logo (they’re just decorative), two small horizontal slats on the ‘side intakes’ and a red lip with the Brabus logo. The insides of the lower grille is in red. There’s more red on the piece of trim between the wheels, which are 19-inch ‘Dynamo’ two-tone items (235/45 tyres, same size) shielding red brake calipers.

By the way, the brakes only differ in colour and the suspension isn’t any lower – the only chassis difference is stiffer dampers for the Brabus.

The rear bumper has the exact same cues as its front counterpart – a red strip, two small black lines and a small Brabus logo. A more prominent rear spoiler completes the exterior differences. It’s obviously more sporty than the Premium, but very subtle nonetheless, and there are no B logos anywhere on the body or wheels.

smart #1 Brabus EV previewed in Malaysia – dual-motor AWD, 428 PS, 543 Nm, 0-100 in 3.9s, RM250k est

Anyway, the Atom Grey-Matte colour you see here is not exclusive to the Brabus, but the Radiant Red contrasting roof option is. The other colours that come with the red roof are Meta Black and Cyber Silver. A black roof contrasts Digital White, Laser Red and Cyber Silver. This matte grey is the only hue that can be had as it is, monotone without a different roof colour.

Inside, the black-red theme continues and we finally get to see the big B from Bottrop on the front headrests. Aside from this, Brabus is spelled on the steering spoke – it’s cool that the name is illuminated.

The gloss white dash-cum-centre console is now in a gunmetal hue, and stitching on the dash, doors, steering and seats are now in red. The ‘sporty’ colour is also on the seatbelts and plastic ‘ears’ of the headrests. Finally, the headlining is black, the seats are in suede (normal leather sides) and you get sports pedals (metal).

Aside from the Brabus-specific trim mentioned above, we’re looking at all the equipment from the Premium. Headlining goodies include a thumping Beats 13-speaker sound system, a 12.8-inch centre touchscreen where you control everything, a slim 9.2-inch meter cluster, a 10-inch full colour head-up display, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, wireless charger and built-in navigation with local info such as charging locations.

Also standard are comfort features like ventilated front seats, 10-way powered front seats (memory for driver), driver’s courtesy seat (slides back for easier exit), dual-zone auto air con with rear vents and N95 carbon filter, moonroof with powered blind, 64-colour ambient lighting and illuminated door sills.

On the outside, the #1 Brabus comes with Matrix LED headlamps with adaptive high beam; front/rear sequential turn signals; illumination for the front grille, flush door handles and rear pillar logo; welcome and courtesy lights; roof rails; auto-foldable and auto-dipping (when reversing) wing mirrors; auto-dimming and heated wing mirrors; and a powered tailgate. There’s also a light show with accompanying music from the Beats audio.

2024 smart #1 Brabus spec sheet; click to enlarge

Last but not least, safety. Everything you’d expect to see in a modern premium car is here – ESC, hill hold assist, hill descent control, seven airbags and a comprehensive ADAS suite that includes ACC, AEB, front/rear collision mitigation support, lane keep assist, lane departure warning/prevention, front/rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, door opening warning and automated lane change assist. There’s also full autonomous parking and a ‘Hello smart’ app will help with vehicle status monitoring, location and tracking.

That’s pretty much it, and what’s left is the all-important price. smart Malaysia is yet to release finalised RRPs for the #1 range, but has revealed an estimated price range of between RM200,000 and RM250,000, on-the-road without insurance. That would place the entry-level Pro at RM200k and this range-topping Brabus at around RM250k, with the Premium in between.

Sounds like a lot of performance and kit for RM250k – what do you think? Full gallery and walk-around video of the Premium variant below for you to compare.

GALLERY: 2024 smart #1 Brabus in Malaysia

GALLERY: 2024 smart #1 Premium in Malaysia

GALLERY: 2024 smart #1 Brabus Malaysian brochure

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Danny Tan

Danny Tan loves driving as much as he loves a certain herbal meat soup, and sweet engine music as much as drum beats. He has been in the auto industry since 2006, previously filling the pages of two motoring magazines before joining this website. Enjoys detailing the experience more than the technical details.

 

Comments

  • seancorr on Oct 05, 2023 at 1:42 pm

    Smart is gonna kill their bigger bro Benz sales when it goes head to head with the A35 hatch though it’s more expensive sibling has adaptive dampers as well as better brakes which matters a lot to cars in this segment.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3
    • Paula Shy on Oct 05, 2023 at 7:35 pm

      KEK why compares suv to hatchback saloon car? The right comparison shall be BRABUS Smart #1 vs AMG GLC

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5
    • Dah Menang Semua on Oct 05, 2023 at 9:23 pm

      Nobody wanna pay 250K to being seen
      inside a cheapo EQS version by Geely

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 28
    • bolehkah with top speed only 180km/h and almost 2tonne?

      the handling of the Brabus need to be proven @ the Track first

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4
  • Peppa on Oct 05, 2023 at 2:02 pm

    That range is a joke and not a funny one

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 29
  • ROTI CANAI on Oct 05, 2023 at 2:24 pm

    laughs in Tesla

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 25
  • I wonder how well it will do at this price. I am also surprised that for a Geely product and the Proton dealer network it is at this price. Definitely it will not have mass market appeal unless they lower the price.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 28
    • Peppa on Oct 06, 2023 at 9:16 am

      Definitely not gonna spend RM200k on Proton customer service level experience lmao

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 20
  • Dah Menang Semua on Oct 05, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    Poor man’s EQS
    made by Geely

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 26
  • TempeKeras on Oct 05, 2023 at 4:50 pm

    Tofu cara killer

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 13
  • The range is a joke!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8
  • ExpensiveJunk on Oct 05, 2023 at 6:37 pm

    RIP on arrival. Thanks to TESLA!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 9
  • Look like cheap toy car

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2
  • Regular citizen on Oct 09, 2023 at 11:03 am

    Personally I think the price is acceptable. Some 4-5 year old recond with high mileage cost more than this, so this is a good option especially for those interested in EV. Design is nice. .to me at least. Top speed is fine, only do 70-90kmh and about 100kmh for overtaking on a regular basis. I’d definitely get one if or when I have the extra cash.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1
  • RSL 01 on Oct 16, 2023 at 1:01 pm

    180 km/h top speed …

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • After the test drive session at Glenmarie Shah Alam, I think the price tag is worth every penny. And from 0 to 100 in 3.9 sec, is mind blowing.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2
 

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