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Big vehicle, big adventure

<p>I would have never thought that, throughout my whole career as an automotive journalist, I would get to play in the mud ... aboard a Smart car built on a Unimog heavy truck platform and mounted on tractor wheels.</p>

Smart ForFun2 suits good time, not real road use




I would have never thought that, throughout my whole career as an automotive journalist, I would get to play in the mud ... aboard a Smart car built on a Unimog heavy truck platform and mounted on tractor wheels.


It took Greeks, the creators of math, physics and philosophy, to come up with such a concept. More precisely, it took Stefanos Attart, national 4x4 rally champion and Monster Truck fan.


He tells us how it all started: “Since the ForTwo came out, Greeks see it as more of a joke than anything else. I told myself that something was needed in order to change people’s view on the new model.”



Why not a “Monster Smart?”


The craziest ideas are usually the most interesting ones. What do you think of a lime and garnet-coloured Smart built on a Unimog frame and mounted on 1.4 metre-high tractor wheels? I say that the one they named “Smart ForFun” is completely wicked.


Forget about the tiny city car that usually sneaks through traffic, this version is big. The prototype which cost 60,000 Euros ($86,000 Cdn) to conceive is 3.7 metres high, more than twice the height of a “regular” Smart.


Despite being 5-foot-7, my eyes don’t even come up to the big bug’s bumper. In order to climb on board, you need a small ladder to reach the door — imagine how elegant someone looks getting in or out of the car.


One thing is for sure: no more parking on a dime in the small space left between two SUVs — in this venture, the Smart ForFun2 gained a metre in width and another in length.


You can also forget about fuel economy. In fact, the small three-cylinder 0.8-L diesel engine is far from matching the needs of a five-metric ton monster. That is why Unimog’s 5.7-L six-cylinder motor takes over, doubling the power (at 84 HP) but more importantly increasing its torque (from 74 ft-lbs to 191 ft-lbs). “The Smart ForFun2 can even tow a house!” upholds its Greek car designer.


No reason to even check its 0-100 km/h since the ForFun2 has a maximum speed of 80 km/h — and I wouldn’t personally risk going that fast. At the Attart Off-Road Park, a track in Athens’ suburbs scattered with water puddles, rocky obstacles and dirt hills, the thingamajig behaves like a camel: bumpy. And since the contraption is twice as high as it is large, it has such a strong propensity to tip over that one tends to stay at a speed of 5 km/h.


Nevertheless, this Smart with “Monster Truck” ambitions is able to overcome just about any obstacle. As you would probably surmise, this model isn’t roadworthy but if it was there is no dispute that it would never have to fight for its place again.


“On Greek highways, drivers pay no attention to the Smart car. With the ForFun2 they wouldn’t have a choice,” says Attart.



nadinefilion@metronouvelles.com


















SPECIFICATIONS

Smart ForFun2

Smart ForTwo CDI

• Engine


• Power


• Torque


• Gearbox


• Tires


• Fuel tank capacity


• Wheelbase


• Length


• Width


• Height


• Weight


• Maximum speed



Six-cylinder diesel 5.7L


84 HP


191 ft-lbs at 1,600 rpm


Synchronized eight-speed


BF Goodrich 18.4 x 26


60 litres


2,150mm


3,500 mm


2,500 mm


3,700mm


Estimated 5,000 kg


80 km/h



Three-cylinder diesel


0.8L 41 HP


74 ft-lbs at 1,800 rpm


Sequential six-speed


145/65R15 — 175/55R15


22 litres


1,1812mm


2,500 mm


1,515mm


1,549mm


730 kg


135 km/h


 
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