When it comes to specialty applications of the Smart Fortwo, "off-road motorsports" may seem about as likely as "amphibious assault vehicle." Yet a team has come up with just that (the former, not the latter), creating a rally-ready runabout dubbed the Smart Dakar.

The team used a Fortwo to create a "Smart Buggy 4x4." The creator's website claims that the vehicle is in compliance with FIA regulations, and weighs only 750 kilograms (1,653 pounds). As the name suggests, the intent of this vehicle is to compete in the Dakar Rally, and it looks the part.

It may be the most hard-nosed Smart that you'll ever find, but it has an uphill battle to make it to competition. The race team, headed by Jose Luis "JL" Alvarez, does not have the funds to field a full assortment of vehicles, including two Smarts and a Honda CRF-450, and now all plans have been canceled for this year's Dakar Rally.

JL even appealed to his fans via a YouTube video with the hopes of crowd-funding the project, though it appears that attempt has failed. At any rate, the 2013 Dakar Rally starts January 5 in Lima, Peru, and ends January 20 in Santiago, Chile, and it appears that this team, with its unique ride, will not be attending.




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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 22 Comments
      Andre Neves
      • 2 Years Ago
      Looks like a cross between a penny racer and a shopping cart.
      Nick
      • 2 Years Ago
      judging by the control arms and the stock polaris rzr wheels i would say it is a polaris rzr 900xp with a fiberglass smart car body on it.
      eyad.eyad
      • 2 Years Ago
      You mean you've never heard of the Smart amphibious assault vehicle? http://cache.gawkerassets.com/assets/images/4/2011/11/2eb0bc599fce38af2303c1278b790490.jpg
      k.naz
      • 2 Years Ago
      I... I.... I kinda want one.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Neutral President
      • 2 Years Ago
      Yeah, that car has about as much in common with the smart fortwo as a NASCAR vehicle has in common with the showroom cars they're "based on". It's a shell and that's about it.
      trzjax
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'm sorry, I just can't stop laughing...
        Dean
        • 2 Years Ago
        @trzjax
        Maybe not, but you have you admit that would be so much fun to drive!
      Ace Ratbang
      • 2 Years Ago
      Legitimately looks like an April fools joke.
      rü$╫
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow he did the impossible. Made a smart car cool!
      churchmotor
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've seen bigger Honda ATVs than that.
      Actionable Mango
      • 2 Years Ago
      Lima, Peru? The Paris-Dakar Rally's name is increasingly obsolete.
        iamzombie
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Actionable Mango
        Which is why they don't call it the Paris-Dakar anymore (yes I understand that Dakar was the end goal) but they wanted to keep the "fame" of the previous race. They cleared out of africa because it wasn't safe for the competitors. "After the murder of four French citizens and three Mauritanian soldiers in the previous days before the start and answering the strong recommendation of the French Ministry for Foreign affairs not to go to Mauritania, the 2008 edition of the rally was cancelled. Terrorist acts identified by the French authorities threatened the rally directly. On the eve of the start, Etienne Lavigne was forced to announce the cancellation of the 2008 edition. The competitors gathered in Lisbon for scrutineering had to deal with the shock and saluted the responsible decision of the organisers. Three weeks later (Friday the 1st of February) a terror attack in the heart of Nouakchott confirmed the judiciousness of applying the precaution principle." Source: http://www.dakar.com/dakar/2013/us/history.html
      Drakkon
      • 2 Years Ago
      Didn't they have one of these built with atv parts a year or so ago? Rhys Millen I think.
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