José Luis Álvarez probably knows he will be the butt of all jokes when he takes his Smart through the scrutineering in Lima. But perhaps his gamble is not as crazy as it looks...
The Dakar, a land of adventure, is also the perfect place for those who want to set themselves technical challenges.
A few wacky attempts in a Renault 5 or Citroën AX in the 1980s, as well as several Citroëns 2CV or a Fiat Panda in the 2000s, all came to nothing!
Upon seeing him with his Smart on the start line in Lima, one could be forgiven for thinking José Luis Álvarez is yet another dreamer, but the former quad pilot is not really planning to cross the Atacama Desert in the exact same city car which has taken the European capitals by storm.
"I built this buggy by fitting the bodywork of a Smart prototype onto an XP 900 Polaris."
Álvarez already showed his trailblazing mettle when he became the first Spanish quad pilot to finish the Dakar several years ago. He could very well be a pioneer again in his ninth Dakar start!