I received an email this morning from Kim McGill, smartUSA Vice President Marketing & Advertising.

She will be in Orlando at the Anniversary Event and is willing to answer your questions as best she can. She has asked for a list of questions and I will send these to her, then will answer them in Orlando. I will post the responses over the weekend.

In the posts following this, please list only your question(s) and enough detail if needed to assure the question is understood.

It is okay to post duplicates or "+1" a previous question, so that way we can tell which questions are the most concerning to the owners and to get a priority answer.

I am leaving for Orlando Thursday evening around 5PM, so that is your deadline as I need to get these to Kim as I am leaving. She can review them on Friday before she comes down.

Here is your opportunity.

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any questions for the smartUSA team this evening?

Poor Ms McGill.  I can't believe she will show after all this bad news from Smart USA. 


Interestingly, it seems like she was out of the loop along with the rest of us.

Based on some rumors today, some current Penske centers will stay open.  What people really want to know is which smart centers are closing?  The one in Cincinnati is for sure.

1. How long will Insider be up? 

2. Insider:  will there be a way to archive the pics and videos as these are history of our smarts since arriving here in the USA. 

Did she show and say anything interesting?
Everything is secret and there will be a big surprise party in june. LOL

Here in Dallas we're getting nowhere trying to get information from smart about servicing the 2009 Brabus.  One of our club member's Brabus smart was reprogrammed by the Dallas smart dealer to supposedly match the 2011 programming.  Now he says his car runs terribly - not at all like the unique-to-the-Brabus progamming that came with the car...AND smart Dallas says the car cannot be returned to its original programming.  Does anybody with technical savvy at smart know about the unique Brabus programming and is it something we should try to keep at all costs?  Our club member says he's driven the 2011 smart and it runs great - nothing like his reprogrammed 2009 Brabus - and his reprogrammed Brabus runs nothing like it did when he originally bought it.  Those of us with Brabus models which haven't been touched by the smart dealer are afraid the dealer will reprogram the cars following some factory protocol which may or may not apply to the Brabus model - but we can't get any personal response from the smart car company.  Can anyone provide any help with this issue?  My car is about to go in for the 10,000 mile service and I am scared for it. 

I would recommend your friend calling smartUSA customer service and asking for his issue to be reviewed by the service directors and request a call back.   As for yours, have the service staff do the lookover then bring you back a list of exactly what they plan on doing before they start the work. 

smartUSA was no help.  referred to Germany who responded that 2009 Brabus programming could not be restored once overwritten by 2011 smart programming.  That seems like an incredible response which is why I asked the forum if anyone had any technical savvy on these issues.  We are proceeding with caution and trepidation on the servicing of our car, as the dealer wasn't supposed to touch the other member's car either - once the mechanic (only been working there for 3 weeks) messes with the programming, according to smart, the damage is not reversible.  I am also waiting for a response from smartUSA myself but so far no luck and my car needs the 10,000 mile service.  We are currently not driving the car while we wait for a response which may or may not come from smartUSA.  Our other member considers his car ruined - I don't want my highly customized Brabus to suffer the same fate. 
Please explain to me the special reprogramming your Brabus has.  I have read many articles stating that the Brabus was programmed to shift about 20% faster than a regular Pure/Passion.  I have never been able to verify this with anyone in authority.  My car has never been touched by the dealer.  All service has been done by me.  In my car, I don't feel the dreaded lag in shifting everyone complains about.  The only non-Brabus I have driven was the Passion on the Road Tour back in '07.  My car just turned 2100 miles and I have had it since May, '09.  I am anxious to hear back from you, George Oller.

The Brabus model sold in the United States (US limited edition available only in 2009) was not the same one they got in Europe.  In Europe, they got an engine/power upgrade plus all the other tweaks.

Here in the US, we got the standard Smart engine (three-cylinder, 70 horsepower, 68 lb-ft of torque).

We also got:  the five-speed automated manual transmission which was special tuned for improved shifting (this is the programming we are worried the dealer will undo if they flash the car computer with the 2011 smart programming)

The other US Smart Brabus extras were:


  • sport exhaust system
  • chassis and suspension tweaks
  • a 10-millimeter body drop
  • exterior is upgraded with side skirts
  • a front fascia that reduces lift
  • a modified rear bumper to accommodate the dual chrome-plated tail pipes
  • double “B” on the fuel filler door
  • Brabus Monoblock VII alloy wheels measuring 15 inches up front and 17 in the rear


  • brushed-aluminum pedals
  • velour floor mats with Brabus logos
  • heated leather seats
  • additional gauges (clock and tach) which are optional on standard Smarts

The Brabus coupe cost approx. $5755 more than a standard Smart (cabrio was an additional  $3755)

I have had my 09 Brabus for 23 months.  I have read many reviews stating the transmission was programmed for 20% faster shifting, but have never found actual info to that effect.  Do you have a factual source stating the reprogrammed transmission?  This has been discussed at length on SCoA forum, but most people feel there is no difference.  As stated in my other post, I have only driven one non-Brabus car and that was for about one mile in late 07 when the Road Tour came to my town.  I don't feel the lag on upshifts in my car as others have described on the Pure/Passion.  Thanks for all your help and I will look forward to reading your transmission programming information.  George

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