Unless you understand the sheer power of fashion, and its ability to overcome reason and open wallets, I do not think you will ever understand this particular Smart car.

Women know that they can buy a perfectly serviceable bag for a few pounds, but some yearn for a Chloe grained calfskin shoulder bag, which will lighten a bank account to the tune of £1,300.

Men can pick up an ultra-reliable wristwatch for a fiver, but some will only settle for a Girard Perregaux Evo 3 Laureato, that can set you back £10,000. A two-seater Smart car can be put on the road for a little more than that outrageously-priced watch — but not this one. This is the Brabus Tailor Made, with an eye-watering price tag that tops £26,000. A whole £6,000 of that is made up by the Tailor Made package, which transforms both the interior and exterior. On the outside it is clothed in Brabus bodywork — front spoiler, aero kit and twin-piped rear diffuser.

Inside there is a glitteringly attractive, air- conditioned cabin with a contrasting diamond-stitched, leather-trimmed interior, which extends to the door panels, upper dashboard and even the floor mat edging.

Each of the 18 dazzling Tailor Made colour schemes available has a supercar/heritage theme. These include the vibrant Campbell Blue, which pays homage to the iconic Bluebird land speed record cars built and tested at Brooklands, the home of Mercedes-Benz World.

What the Brabus Tailor Made retains is the Smart car’s ability to deliver real fun at the wheel, as well as frugal consumption.

Powered by an 84 horsepower, three-cylinder, 999cc engine, the Brabus has a well-earned reputation as a rocket-powered rollerskate.

Nipping around town it is in its element, with a tight, sub-nine-metre, turning circle, the ability to squeeze through impossibly small gaps and to park nose in to the kerb.

But make no mistake, while the city is its playground, the Smart is perfectly capable of mixing with motorway-speed traffic, cruising comfortably, with surprising solidity, at 70mph.

The car is also technologically well advanced with electronic systems ranging from anti-lock brakes, electronic stability programme and skid control, all fitted as standard.

High-tech fans also get a treat inside with a touchscreen dashboard display that combines a radio and CD/DVD/SD/iPod inputs with colour satellite navigation and hands-free Bluetooth telephone link With such a small wheelbase and chunky 15-inch alloy wheels, ride and comfort are entirely in the hands of the road surface. Take the B4044 from Oxford to Eynsham. On the recently- resurfaced stretch, the car is quiet and comfortable and the ride is refined. On the sadly longer, untouched section, with its hotch-potch of pothole repairs, it is not.

Auto facts: Smart Brabus Tailor Made

Price: £26,136

Ins group: Six (1-50)

Fuel consumption (Combined): 57.6mpg

Top speed: 96mph

Length: 269.5cm/106.1in

Width: 155.9cm/61.3in

Luggage space: 7.7 cu ft

Fuel capacity: 7.2 gallons/ 33 litres

CO2 emissions: 120g/km

Warranty: 2 years/ unlimited mileage