Thursday, March 22, 2012

Smart Roadster Brabus

In 2003 German tuninghouse Brabus created a prototype version of the Roadster Coupé with two merged 3-cylinder engines to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Solituderennen. This V6 bi-turbo powerplant had a maximum power of 218 PS (160 kW; 215 hp) for a weight of only 840 kg (1,852 lb), giving it the same power-to-weight ratio as a Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. Smart claimed the car could accelerate to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under five seconds.

Since the twin-turbo V-6 occupies almost as much space as their five-cylinder engines, the fuel tank had to be relocated to the nose of the car, where a luggage compartment used to be. It comes in the form of a Formula 1-type foamrubber fuelbladder. The bigger engine also forced a change from separate coil springs and dampers to concentric units to support the de Dion rear suspension.

Ten cars were built and presented at the Castle Solitude. They are not available for sale and are not even allowed to be driven on the public roads in Germany. Some of Mercedes' race drivers, like Markus Winkelhock, drove guests around the event's race track.

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