Smart Car of America Forum banner

101 - 120 of 158 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Discussion Starter #101
There were 19 total cabs in the U.S. with the Brabus sports package. Mine is one of them. And the car is insanely quick. I can't keep that thing under 80 mph's, it always gears itself to the perfect rpms to keep it in its powerband. It was obviously tuned for performance. Fuel economy is not the primary goal, based on how the turbocharger works so early in the powerband. The transmission programming won't allow turbo lag because it forces lower gears to keep rpms up high enough. The ratios are close enough to prevent turbo lag. It's genius.

To anybody complaining about mpg's, you're just going to have to trick the transmission programming. Try manual mode (Sport) more often, and shift early to keep the rpm's low. Try economy mode and use light throttle pressure all the time. You will have to drive strategically and safely, to stay out of the way of the faster cars, but you will see 40+ mpg's is possible.

But if you drive it like you stole it? Expect low 30s in the mpg's due to eager turbo boosting and aggressive shifting.
oh yeah that's right, 19. I only remembered it was less than 20.

I never drive a regular Smart before, so I cannot really compare performances like you do, but like you said, the car is quick. I once loaded the car (removing subwoofer of course) with a 28 inches suite case and a small carry-on bag and one 230lbs adult, and I am 190lbs, the car is working without a sweat. Sometimes when I downshift hard, I can even hear a small crack noise from my Brabus exhaust. I still feel bad that we don't get Brabus tuned in US.

In regards of MPG, I am averaging around 42ish on my daily home to work commutes, mixed of highway and local and I am averaging 36.8 on my total 5,000 miles per trip computer. I hit 99MPH multiple times, it is very interesting that my cluster shows a top speed of 130MPH, but when I hit 99MPH, it only goes 2/3 of the numbers. This car is my first micro/small/economy car, I am really happy with its current MPG, because all of my other cars are around 20 to 25 to the best.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,297 Posts
oh yeah that's right, 19. I only remembered it was less than 20.

I never drive a regular Smart before, so I cannot really compare performances like you do, but like you said, the car is quick. I once loaded the car (removing subwoofer of course) with a 28 inches suite case and a small carry-on bag and one 230lbs adult, and I am 190lbs, the car is working without a sweat. Sometimes when I downshift hard, I can even hear a small crack noise from my Brabus exhaust. I still feel bad that we don't get Brabus tuned in US.
You would probably never describe the smart 451 as "quick." And in my opinion, that's okay. Understanding the smart 451 was difficult for many American drivers because they never experienced owning a 1.0L 3-cylinder car before. If they did, the smart 451 is a sports car version of that engine class. The single-clutch manual was difficult for many, but in my opinion, those folks lacked the skill to control the transmission. So they blamed it. Single-clutch manuals have been used on some older high end sports cars, some commercial trucks, and other vehicles.

They were often the source of complaints on those vehicles as well, the only difference is the high end sports cars will always get a criticism pass due to exotic appeal, and the commercial big-rigs will always get a pass because they are just big rigs afterall. But those transmissions were used for engineering / performance benefits relative to the design of the vehicle. It just took drivers willing to understand and agree with it, then once they agree they can learn how to coordinate their foot pedal position to control the transmission's shift behavior.

If they master that, then the smart 451 will either downshift, upshift, or stay in gear however the driver intends for it to. And then suddenly the brilliance of the smart 451 is obvious. Throw in some bobbing and weaving handling and you'll notice how responsive the smart's 451 chassis is, and it becomes a fun errand running car with kart-like responsiveness. That's awesome in tight traffic, and gets away with maneuvers no other vehicles can get away with. Powerful cars out accelerate you, well designed cars can out maneuver you. The smart out maneuvers. That's the idea.

In regards of MPG, I am averaging around 42ish on my daily home to work commutes, mixed of highway and local and I am averaging 36.8 on my total 5,000 miles per trip computer. I hit 99MPH multiple times, it is very interesting that my cluster shows a top speed of 130MPH, but when I hit 99MPH, it only goes 2/3 of the numbers. This car is my first micro/small/economy car, I am really happy with its current MPG, because all of my other cars are around 20 to 25 to the best.
I don't think I would ever want to hit those speeds in such a short wheelbase car. 96 is more than enough IMO. You can easily get tickets going 80, and the smart 453 is easily powerful enough to live at 85 mph's. It'll climb hills at those speeds if you want it to. It's nice that you can go so fast, but please be careful. This car is powerful enough to get itself into trouble, unlike the smart 451.

The smart 453 shows signs of overpowering its chassis with engine power. It can get you into trouble the chassis won't get you out of. It's why the ESP on it is so aggressive. Gotta protect the driver from him/herself. The chassis of the 451 gave the driver confidence to toss it around at any speed it was capable of achieving.

However, the 453 has reached the next-level. The engine and transmission is high-tech, just limited in displacement at .89L. It's the only "weakness" relative to bigger vehicles on the road. The other vehicles on the road can only rely on larger engine size and the horsepower/torque figures they put out, to beat a smart. Same went for the 451, however the engine was naturally aspirated in those so even some larger cars could claim a turbo and dual-clutch as an advantage. Not anymore. smart's 453 has it too.

And that little body is so light, it doesn't need to develop as much power as larger vehicles anyway. It's easily more maneuverable and capable of thoroughly embarrassing large muscle cars if racing through traffic (don't do it, not recommended).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,611 Posts
I've done 105 MPH in my remapped BRABUS Tailor Made diesel in a 75 MPH zone (downhill slightly), passing a Merc M Class that was going 90+ in the process (they probably thought they were hallucinating) and on the flat it'll do 96 MPH, maybe 100 if you wait long enough. But it's relatively slow getting there. The 453 will be a lot quicker.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,297 Posts
I've done 105 MPH in my remapped BRABUS Tailor Made diesel in a 75 MPH zone (downhill slightly), passing a Merc M Class that was going 90+ in the process (they probably thought they were hallucinating) and on the flat it'll do 96 MPH, maybe 100 if you wait long enough. But it's relatively slow getting there. The 453 will be a lot quicker.
The 453 will be a LOT LOT LOT LOT quicker. :nerd:

Nevertheless, I would still love to get my hands on a turbo diesel smart 450... incredible fuel economy.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
214 Posts
90 easy with a 2018 Smart ED. It is quite an experience. I can never go back to gas, ever.

With a new upgraded Clipper Creek charger, the 2018 with either new software or hardware, an emergency battery to full charge in 2 hours and twenty minutes really erases any miles per change fears I had.

At one point, highway driving and city showed 176 MPGe. How does that relate to gas. I am truly amazed.

It's the wrong car and delivered from Bergen, NJ with left side rear fender damage from MB Manhattan. I like everything perfect at least when it arrives. Had the guys called from Bergen and told me it had damage, I would have said no.

I have heard nothing from the dealer nor anything from MB and it's a few days to almost a month with even the vin wrong. No registration either.

All car dealers are the same. In 55 years I have never found an honest one. You pay, you leave, that’s it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,611 Posts
If the chassis is overpowered with 89 HP, it is a poor chassis! Most modern cars are in this camp though, especially the ones with 300+ HP.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
214 Posts
Update.

MB Manhattan called me. Al asked for information, VIN, pic of delivery damage. I said I was extremely picky. It hurts when I nick it but delivered with damage .....

He told me he would call me back. I suggested a new car with no damage, he said it’s too hard to change a lease. I also said ok but the paint will never match.

He said that is why we have a six million dollar shop. We work on MB wrecks and make them new. I have no reason to doubt that.

I still suggested that it would be more efficient to send the car I ordered rather than picking up the old one, take up space in the shop where a 150,000$ MB owner is calling every hour, yelling and screaming that his car was promised days ago while the Smart is taking it’s place in the shop.

Then getting it back to me and picking up my turn in 2016 gas.

He was nice, professional and I have never been treated that way by any dealer in my life. Al told me, “I will make you whole.” I hope the logistics, time and money will get through.

The damage was recorded by the two delivery guys. MB knows about it. No matter what, they took full responsibility. I did get the registration the day before which I thanked him for.

As an end note, I did due diligence and it looks like MB Manhattan will do their’s. Either way, I did believe Al.

The 2018 ED is the tightest car I have ever driven. The acceleration and lack of noise is breath taking.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,297 Posts
What do you mean by showing signs of overpowering?

Could you please elaborate on this?
The 453 suspension is far more comfortable than the 451's was. It has more bounce to it. You can wildly accelerate the 453 to its max ability but you will do it more often in a straight line than you will while in the middle of turns. The 451 wasn't powerful enough (by comparison) and was a less bouncy suspension, so it had more stability during hard acceleration in the middle of turns.

It's not a big deal, the 453 is a far superior replacement. I just randomly cherry-picked an aspect of the 451 that I prefer. I'm talking about up to its limits and nothing else.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Discussion Starter #116
Not sure if everyone else has the same complaints or just me driving too fast, I have found our OEM brake was super weak, and I often had times where I couldn't slow down as soon as I wished. All in all, I was not confident and not happy with OEM brakes.

I did some research and found out only a number of aftermarket companies worldwide making any performance part for our Smart 453, I found this company called Aspec and they are making brake kits for 453 in Asia, so I reached out. It is a 4-piston "big" brake kit, and I was initially concerned about wheel clearance issue. After communication, I was told no spacers required and OEM wheel can fit it perfectly.





 

·
Registered
Joined
·
166 Posts
Discussion Starter #117
I had my brake kit installed this past weekend, and installation process was simple, basic bolt-on swap from OEM parts. The performance was such a day and night difference! I can stop easily and no more fake brake pedal travels. I really enjoy the first initial bite when I touch the brake pedal. Now I finally feel my toy has enough stopping power before I do any ECU tuning as I previously planned.











I am still on the lookout for a rear drum to disc brake conversion kit. If you know someone who can make one, please let me know :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
I had my brake kit installed this past weekend, and installation process was simple, basic bolt-on swap from OEM parts. The performance was such a day and night difference! I can stop easily and no more fake brake pedal travels. I really enjoy the first initial bite when I touch the brake pedal. Now I finally feel my toy has enough stopping power before I do any ECU tuning as I previously planned.





I am still on the lookout for a rear drum to disc brake conversion kit. If you know someone who can make one, please let me know :)
Do you have a link for the kit that you bought? THanks.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,297 Posts
Not sure if everyone else has the same complaints or just me driving too fast, I have found our OEM brake was super weak, and I often had times where I couldn't slow down as soon as I wished. All in all, I was not confident and not happy with OEM brakes.

The 453 BRABUS versions certainly can benefit from upgraded brakes. The car is capable of overpowering its brakes AND chassis. It is very fast IMO. The brakes will not save you if you're overdoing it with driving aggressiveness. I don't blame you at all. Next up is the oem BRABUS suspension for you. Perhaps the Euro-spec version like the '08-'09 BRABUS 451's had...:D
 
101 - 120 of 158 Posts
Top