GERMAN TUNING COMPANY BRABUS has long been associated with super-quick Mercedes-Benzes (and even those cute little Smart runabouts, would you believe it). But an electric bicycle? Absolutely.
A few weeks ago, the company began taking orders for the strikingly different and relentlessly “green” smart ebike, a twowheeler offering both excellent environmental credentials and a useful top speed of 45 km/h. It even looks good, for heaven’s sake: the frame and fork are painted matt black and other critical bits – such as the pedals and brake callipers – provide a nice contrast in anodised green, the saddle and grips being finished in green leather. A four-piston brake system is fitted to the front wheel, the matt black four-spoke wheels are made of carbon, and the bike weighs about 10 per cent less than the original smart ebike.
With Brabus, however, it’s more about power than good looks – and here the smart ebike performs rather well. At 500 watts, the electric motor is twice as powerful as the motor on the original. Not surprisingly, this makes for vigorous performance, the rider deciding how much power to relinquish to the motor via a throttle grip. The production version of the smart ebike is expected at the end of 2012.