FIVE WAYS TO MAKE IT BET­TER

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

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?

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