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A Smart Fortwo Tank

Emmanuel P December 2, 2010


Amid all the talk of new model launches and concept cars comes news of this one-off Fortwo. Most people think of the Fortwo as an urban runabout but a few examples have been fitted out with motorcycle engines or monster truck tires. This iteration, however, tops them all. It’s a Fortwo remade into a tank, a working Smart tank.

The car has been converted into a tracked vehicle and painted with a German Army camouflage scheme, with matching insignia. A new front bumper wraps around the tracks so that the overall look is that the tracks are well-integrated into the car. There’s also a serial number for tongue-in-cheek authenticity, as well as a radio antenna, side-mounted ammunition containers and a hatch on the front. Speaking of hatches it can be noted that since the tracks extend the length of the car, the doors would be inoperative, so they were welded shut. Access to the vehicle is through the sunroof. Sporting German number plates, it looks to be road-legal.

This looks like a difficult and labor-intensive modification. Wheels from a light armored vehicle have replaced the rear wheels. These in turn drive the tracks, which extend to the length of the Fortwo. Due to the Fortwo’s short wheelbase, both the track length and suspension travel have been shortened. In the case of the tracks, a few links were removed in order to shorten it. Shortening the supension travel should not be a problem as there’s no way this Smart tank will be going anywhere fast. Speaking of going anywhere fast, the Smart tank can’t probably steer as well. In normal tanks, a special gearbox varies power to the rear driving wheels so that the tank can turn. Such a specailized gearbox can’t probably be sourced for such a small package. So, it probably can’t steer even if its life depended on it, and can go only forward or backwards.

Whatever the case, one would surely be noticed in this – thing – wherever it goes!


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Comments (6)

  1. Pingback: Lmao - Unofficial Honda FIT Forums

  2. Pingback: Mercedes Camouflage German Army

  3. Emmanuel,
    I think it can probably steer quite well. Early tanks, and for that matter, contemporary Bull Dozers use(d) simple open differentials and heavy duty brakes. The brakes are on separate circuits, so when moving forward, and you want to turn right, you actuate the right track’s brakes. This approach is sometimes referred to as “Braked Differential Steering”. Old school method used simple levers to actuate the brakes. Left lever, left brake, right lever, right brake. Although not quite the same, conceptually this is often called “skid steering”, though “skid steers” are usually hydraulic powered and steered.

    Many modern tanks use a more sophisticated method such as a triple differential drive, but that is a good deal more complicated to describe than I will attempt here. One of the better resources to help understand these different methods of steering tracked vehicles can be found here: http://gizmology.net/tracked.htm

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