In June 2009, we were given the opportunity to see the new Brabus ED. Unlike its 450 predecessor, smart intend to release a standard ED and a Brabus ED to the general public...but not yet. The smart ED will launch first, followed by the Brabus ED at a later date, and depending on success.
The styling of the Brabus ED is completely over the top. Brabus have tried to give the car a "green" personality through a matt spearmint finish with white elements making it "angelic". For legal reasons, this car could not be driven at this presentation. However, we took the opportunity to have a good look at what was about to be unleashed.
From the outside, the car is very striking:
This particular model was a cabrio...with a white leather soft top! Keeping that roof white in the busy streets of London would certainly be a challenge.
The EDs will plug into standard electric car charge points, which are now becoming more available in cities and some supermarkets.
We were not allowed to remove the front access panel but hidden behind is a large loudspeaker. In order to protect it from the elements, all the grilles (which would normally allow air to flow over the radiator) have been blanked off. So what does this speaker do? Well, no joke, it imitates the sound of a Brabus 112 Ultimate when pressing the accelerator! And with a switch, you can change the sound to that of a space ship - for that ultimate head-turning experience!
An array of high output LEDs act as spot lights.
Every bit of exposed plastic has been painted, including the aerial.
The ED also bears the new Brabus Monoblock VII alloys. However, unlike the petrol Brabus, all wheels are 15" with standard width tyres. Nonetheless, we must remember that this car is still concept and the final wheels may differ.
The green and white finish continues onto the wheels which are protected in a very thick coat of lacquer.
The Brabus door sill backlight loses its effect when surrounded by the madness of green and white.
Inside, the green and white theme continues. The wheel and dash are covered in green leather with all plastic parts painted. For obvious reasons, a paddle wheel is not provided.
A Kenwood DNX5220BT has been fitted in place of the standard head unit. As well as playing CDs and mp3s, it also has a built in DVD player and media centre. Unfortunately, it is not linked to the large speaker in the front!
The SE drive adopts the same PRND sequence as the cars for the American market. It will be interesting to see if 'P' locks the motor when parked. The + and - functions will not work.
Both pods contain new dials. The left hand pod shows the realtime current draw. The needle is centred at zero. When pulling away, the car will draw the most current and the needle will move to the left. Upon braking or slowing down, the regenerative system will top up the battery and so the needle will move to the right.
The right-hand pod contains the total battery level remaining, in the same way the EV does. However, instead of Nickel Metal Hydride, the smart ED uses Lithium Ion batteries which allows faster charging than the EV and take up less space. The exact range of the ED has not been confirmed but it is expected to be around 70 miles.
And all those electronics monitor the big motor that makes the engine bay look very empty!
Finally, the green and white seats display the ED logo along with the obligatory Brabus badge.
All of this makes for a very interesting concept of modern day city motoring.