If you were to take part in the grueling Dakar Rally, what would be the vehicle of choice to tackle the endless miles of scorching desert coupled with the harshest surrounding on Earth? An AWD Japanese sedan, or would a tough 4×4 do the trick? Jose Luis “JL” Alvarez on the other hand has a different way of looking at it, and he is determined that he and his team could take on the challenge in a Smart ForTwo.

Dubbed the “Smart Buggy 4×4”, JL claims that this Dakar Rally-ready machine is in compliance with FIA regulations, and has a total weight of only 750 kilograms. It was completely reengineered, housing a fully independent front and rear suspension, a wider track for both front and back, and has a subtle body modifications.

But JL faces a wall of challenges even before the rally itself, as for starters, he does not possess the funds to get the full assortment of vehicles which includes two Smarts and a Honda CRF-450. He even tried reaching out to his fans through a Youtube video in hoping to crowd-fund the project, which unfortunately did not manage to secure him the adequate amount in time.

The 2013 Dakar Rally starts this January 5 in Lima, Peru, and ends January 20 in Santiago, Chile. JL and his team might have to seat out of this year’s Dakar, but we wish him all the best in actually making it into the competition next year.


Source 1, Source 2


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