Modded Smart ForTwo Wins European Cannonball Run

by Benjamin Jones on August 10, 2008

The Cannonball run was one of those things I grew up wishing I could do, but knowing I never would. Well, now that I’m all grown up, it doesn’t seem like it matters anyway, because the Cannonball run isn’t done in the US anymore. Luckily, for entertainment’s sake, it’s still on in Europe, and this year there were some pretty interesting results.

This year’s winner was, somewhat suprisingly, a BRABUS-modified Smart car. The BRABUS package definitely gives the Smart a kick in the pants, but it’s nowhere near as powerful as some of the cars you’d expect to see. However, the European site does point out that “it’s not what you drive, but how you drive it.”

How did the Smart capture the glory?

Even though the other cars in the race were much faster, the Smart made the trek at an average of 61 mph by cutting down on stops. As one of the driver’s states, it was the car’s fuel economy and not its speed that allowed it to win the iconic endurance race:

The downfall of the bigger cars was that they were forced to stop so often, so while they kept overtaking us, we eventually went past them at the next petrol station when they needed to fill up again,” said David…. “We kept at a decent speed and still averaged around 35 miles per gallon.”

I can sympathize with this, as I often find myself passed by speeders on long road trips, only to pass them again as they fill up while I can cruise up to 700 miles on a single tank. Given the Smart’s success this year, I wonder if we’ll begin to see more people competing in fuel efficient cars in future Cannonball runs. I guess time will tell!

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