How come it doesn’t take flight? How come it doesn’t burst into flames? These are likely the first questions that come to your mind when you hear about a car powered by a jet engine. And when you find out that it is a smart fortwo, well… you forget those questions, since you’re speechless.
This smart fortwo was equipped with a Huey helicopter power unit by Bill Berg, an engineer from Telluride, Colorado, who own a company Rocketbilly Racing, specialized in conversions. Not long ago, his 10-year old smart fortwo had a three-cylinder engine and only 60 horsepower. That changed a bit. A bit more maybe, making it, as the creator and owner puts it, “the ultimate toy”.
From the front, nothing hints on the shotgun that the bright red and light blue body hides. Once you take a look at the interior, you get the idea. There is a power plant in there, out in the open. No wonder the factory-fitted air conditioning system is still in place. The driver desperately needs it. At the rear, a massive exhaust takes the gases out and of course, there is so much to spit out.
The tiniest of cars received 2,000 horsepower a decade later and is now capable of hitting 354 km/h, pretty much the speed at which an airplane is ready for takeoff. The man who transformed it into a rocket on wheels says that the car can hit 258-274 km/h (160-170 mph) in about 9 seconds on a racetrack. You can imagine that it needs a gas station every kilometer, since it drinks up about 57 liters (15 gallons) in approximately 5 minutes only.
It may seem unbelievable, but this little pit bull is street legal. “I haven’t got pulled over yet”, Bill Berg says, proud that he’s got the operating headlights and windshield wipers, like any other car out there.