Some of the best driving was enjoyed on the way to the Scottish equivalent of the Festival of Speed at Knockhill. Joining up with a neighbor in his 1.8 MX5 for the twisty 40mile run through the glens provided some added interest. Getting there early and making the most of the great quiet roads with the roofs down and the sun shining is about as good as it gets.
Some spirited driving showed the Brabus able to lead from the front with more ultimate grip and usable overtaking mid range, though the MX5 looked much more composed over some of the more bumpy sections where the larger wheels and stiffer suspension of the Smart suggest backing off. Both cars are all about having fun at legal(ish) speeds though and the Brabus fulfills its brief almost perfectly.
The Brabus was also getting a lot of attention at the Arbroath sea festival; almost the whole range of Roadster colours and specs were on display, and being on show put us right in the middle of the action without having to reach in our pockets for parking or entry fees (can you tell I am Scottish?). With a few tuned and modified Smarts all together there was plenty of talk of future tuning options.
I expect the next service to note the thin disks and pads this time round so a Smart contact has some upgraded discs and pads waiting to be installed, with the added benefit of costing less than the standard items Mercedes will suggest. Hopefully they should perform and last better than the original equipment which provide decent feel but lack some ultimate bite unless you really stand on the pedal.
An invitation to a Renault drive day was entertaining; racing around the closed roads of the Queen Mother’s old residence with a professional driver demonstrating the benefits of stability and traction control systems was great fun. But I was glad to get back into my Roadster after playing in the front wheel drive Clios and Meganes though, even if it didn’t provide quite the same shove in the back it feels much faster with the noise of the engine right behind you and sitting so low to the ground. It highlighted the great feel of a good rear wheel drive car’s steering and the lack of understeer, pitch, roll and dive compared to even the more sporting versions of the French cars.
There might not be another car out there that suits me better than the Brabus Roadster; some minor changes might save me getting itchy feet and changing again even though the miles are quickly racking up.
200miles to the next service so more bills to report on next time.