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Smart Brabus Electric Drive generates noise like the Enterprise

The Smart ED has been given the once-over by German tuning company Brabus, which has jammed some cool tech inside, including an external speaker that makes it sound like a starship

Rory Reid
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Are you tired of being run over by near-silent electric cars? No, us neither, but we've got good news for anyone who often finds themselves wandering into the path of freakishly quiet oncoming eco-cars.

Meet the Smart Brabus Electric Drive -- a modified version of the Smart ED prototype we tested back in April 2008. This one's been given the once-over by German tuning company Brabus, which has painted it spearmint green and white, fitted a matching interior, and added some interesting new gadgets.

The most significant addition, as far as we're concerned, is the noise generator. Flick a switch under the dashboard, hit the go pedal and the car makes a noise that sounds like the USS Enterprise as it enters warp speed. The sound doesn't come from the internal speakers, either -- it's generated by an external loudspeaker positioned towards the front of the car. If you want something slightly less bonkers, flicking the switch in the other direction will make the car sound like a highly beefed-up Smart ForTwo. It's ace.

Inside the cabin, Brabus has installed a Kenwood DNX5220BT multimedia head unit that's packed to the gills with features. It'll act as a sat-nav or as a replacement rear-view mirror when hooked up to a rear-facing camera. It'll also play DVD movies, JPEGs and MPEG1/2 and DivX files, and let you control your iPod. This too, as you can probably imagine, is ace.

The Smart Brabus Electric Drive is still in the concept phase and won't see the light of day until Smart launches the consumer version of the standard Smart ED, and they're not saying when that'll be. Click the thumbnails above for for more pictures, and come back in a few days for video of the system in action.

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Pedestrians shouldn't be able to miss this car. We can't remember ever seeing a spearmint green paint job with a matte finish on any vehicle, anywhere in the world, ever.
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Just in case they do miss you, this switch (top right) lets you toggle between noises. One sounds like a sci-fi dork's wet dream, while the other sounds like a Smart ForTwo on steroids.
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If you do happen to run over someone and they end up crashing through your windscreen, they'll love the green and white interior.
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This Kenwood touchstreen head unit enables DVD and DivX movie playback, has an iPod interface and a built-in Garmin sat-nav.
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The Smart Brabus ED features day-running LED lights. We're not sure how this affects the car's range, but it looks cool and makes it more visible.
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We're feelin' the leather-bound gear knob. The buttons just ahead of it control the car's convertible roof, which can be operated while the vehicle is in motion.
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The white alloy wheels are a smart touch.
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The digital-analogue instrument panel is the same as on the standard car, which is a shame as it looks slightly retro.
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This F1-style rear diffuser doesn't add to the vehicle's performance, but it looks sweet.
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This glass panel in the boot lets you see clear through to the electric motor.

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