FIVE WAYS TO MAKE IT BETTER
1 MP3 CHANGER
The factory fit radio suffers tape deck failure and the CD changers are ageing too. For around £85 the XCarLink USB/SD MP3 player connects to the standard CD changer interface and uses the radio controls. An optional Bluetooth module supports streaming and hands-free.
2 FEELING DRAINED
Originally designed for oil changes via vacuum pump and dipstick tube, the sump can be exchanged for one with a drain plug, allowing easier home changes. At £55 this costs around the same as a vacuum pump, and fitting it lets you inspect the Smart’s internals.
3 VERTICAL/SCISSOR DOORS
At around £1000 this is an extreme modification, but it suits the lightweight, frameless doors of the Smart better than many other cars that it’s fitted to. Scissor doors open out a little, then rise like the doors on a Lamborghini Countach. They suit the Smart’s Space Age feel, but there’s a practical application too – the room needed to open the door is much narrower. The kits are easily returned to standard.
4 CHIP SHOP
For extra performance, the Smart responds well to ECU remapping and chip tuning. These can offer increased power, improved driveability and sharper throttle response, plus better fuel economy, tailored to whatever a driver requires. Several companies offer this service, so prices vary considerably.
5 BRAKE IT
Brakes can be upgraded with performance discs all round (rear drums were standard from the factory). A rear disc conversion, carried out by a specialist and including all parts costs, will set you back around £800. Big vented discs and six-pot calipers improve braking performance even further – but do you really need such powerful brakes on a little Smart?