We don’t know whether to file this under What Kind of a Mind Thinks Up Something Like This, or What Kind of Person Would Drive Something Like That? The “this” and “that” in this case is Mercedes-Benz’s Smart fortwo—a Smart Car—powered by a 1.5-liter Toyota four-cylinder engine from a Toyota Paseo. We don’t know the horsepower, but the engine is supercharged with 28 lbs of boost, and it’s neatly installed in the back of the fortwo where a 71-horse 1.0-liter, three-cylinder engine usually resides.
And not much more than resides. The stock Smart fortwo can hardly be called zippy. Independent testing has the Smart turning 0-60 mph in 17.4 seconds and running the standing-start quarter-mile in 19.1 seconds. Tops speed is—eventually—about 90 mph.
The supercharged 1.5-liter, however, propels the Smart through the quarte5-rmile in drag strip in 12.53 seconds with a speed at the finish of 107.39 mph.
And the sound? Like a playing card in the spokes of a very fast bicycle.
Even Consumer Reports cites the Smart for clumsy handling, and 90 mph in the Smart—extrapolating from our experience at much slower speed—certainly must command a driver’s full attention. With a wheelbase of only 73.5 inches and a height of 60.7 inches, the Smart is dodgy under the best conditions. At 107 mph and accelerating, it must be riveting.
Enough of this, however. Watch the supercharged Smart in action.