Brabus tunes various vehicles, with its badge on numerous makes and models. A new video has two Brabus-branded vehicles facing off against each other in a series of drag races, with the 850-horsepower Mercedes-Benz GLE battling the 430-hp Smart #1 Brabus, a battery-electric vehicle.
The Smart features a dual-motor electric powertrain that delivers 422 bhp and 427 pound-feet (580 Newton-metres) of torque to all four wheels. When the Brabus-tuned EV debuted in August 2022, the automaker claimed the vehicle needed just 3.9 seconds to reach 62 miles per hour from a standstill.
Gallery: Smart #1 Brabus
The EV stands out from the other cars in #1 lineup with a more aggressive front bumper, red accents, and new intakes, but any exterior Brabus branding was missing. The Smart #1 has red seat belts, Brabus logos, and red contrast stitching inside.
The GLE has a massive 6.0-litre twin-turbocharged V8 engine and much more power on tap. The tuned powertrain produces 850 bhp and 1,069 pound-feet (1,450 Newton-metres) of torque, much more than the EV. It makes 265 bhp more than the stock Mercedes model while weighing 2,350 kilograms (5,180 pounds). The EV is only much lighter at 1,900 kg (4,188 lbs).
Brabus claims it can reach 62 mph in 3.8 seconds, and it has a 199-mph top speed, which will come in handy during the half-mile rolling races. The SUV features an assortment of visual upgrades, too.
The tuned GLE has significantly more power than the #1 but struggled to compete with the EV’s peppy powertrain. The pair had good launches in the first race, but the Smart just pulled away, beating the SUV. The second race was the same, with the EV completing the quarter-mile race in 12.1 seconds. The GLE still returned an impressive 12.4-second time.
The Smart only won the first rolling race because the GLE driver missed a shift. The SUV won the second rolling race and stopped at the shortest distance, racking up its only wins in the competition.
The Smart’s win is impressive, considering it has much less power, but the EV uses it effectively. The GLE isn’t slow – the EV is just quicker, a benefit of the technology.