Smart Cars have been featured many times on these pages. Usually held up to ridicule, as well they should be. We’ve operated shopping carts that were more exciting than a Smart Car.
If you read BangShift, you knew the first time you saw a Smart Car that someone, somewhere, somehow would hot rod one. A while back one was featured here with a big block Chevy in it. Hardly a sleeper, and barely a Smart Car, it had big rubber at all four corners and none of them very close to the wheel wells. Not exactly subtle. Here we have one so devious it blends into the parade of commutermobiles clogging the Chicago area expressways.
The text included with the vid says this Smart has had a Toyota Paseo 1.5 liter mill swapped in. Our research department ( 5 minutes spent on Wikipedia) finds the Paseo stock was 100 horsepower. Apparently adding a supercharger cramming 28 pounds of boost down it’s neck adds a few ponies. It also adds a whole bunch of fun.
Our story picks up at test and tune at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet. The Smart lines up against a stock appearing Shelby Mustang. The Smart launches into a big wheelstand, the driver gets off the throttle in time to drop the wheels at the 60 foot timers. He’s off the throttle early, running a high 13 at only 80 MPH. The next round our hero appears to avoid a burnout, he’s figured out traction is the least of his worries. In the next lane is another Mustang, this one making all kinds of racket in the water box. The Smart is launched much easier this time, still carrying the wheels but in a much less dramatic fashion. This time a low 12 lights up the boards, and the ‘Stang driver likely takes the back exit out of the track, hoping none of his friends saw this.
It just goes to show you, no matter how boring of an econobox they build, someone will find a way to make it outrageous.