With the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics finally starting this week, the biggest global sporting event is living up to the hype again. But it also got us thinking - what vehicles would perform well at the Olympic games?
Disney's 'Cars' franchise proved that a world full of vehicles isn't too different to our own. So it makes sense that they'd compete in the Summer Olympics as well. Here are the vehicles we think could compete for medals in 15 different Olympic sports.
- 100m Sprint - Drag Racer
- Freestyle Wrestling - Hummer
- Boxing - Land Rover Defender
- Hockey - BMW M3
- Marathon - Toyota Prius
- Long Jump - Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
- Rhythmic Gymnastics (Group) - Aston Martin DB9, Ferrari 458, McLaren 720S, Nissan GTR & Porsche 911
- Sport Climbing - Fiat Panda 4X4
- Football - VW Golf
- Rugby Sevens - Kia Cee'd
- Triathlon - WaterCar Panther
- Track Cycling - Nascar
- Basketball - JCB Digger
- Diving - Space Shuttle
- Mountain Biking - Subaru Impreza
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100m Sprint - Drag Racer
The 100m sprint is all about sheer speed and acceleration. What could be better suited to this event than a drag racer?
Elite drag racers are the fastest accelerating cars in the world. They can reach speeds of 335mph and complete a 305m drag race in less than 4 seconds. As the Olympic 100m record is still the 9.63 seconds run that gave Usain Bolt his second 100m Gold medal, it should be a walk in the park for a drag racer!
Freestyle Wrestling - Hummer
How would you move this mighty machine out of the ring? Freestyle wrestling is all about brute power and strength and the Hummer has plenty of both. Wrestlers score points by throwing their opponent to the mat and holding them there. It's been a part of the Olympic Games since 1904, and the Hummer could very well end up as a Gold medal winner.
It weighs nearly 3 tonnes, allowing it to lift and throw with ease. At that weight, it also doesn't have to worry about opponents performing takedowns on it! While the International Olympic Committee (IOC) would need to create a new weight class for the Hummer (the heaviest is 125kg), it's almost guaranteed to take the top spot.
Boxing - Land Rover Defender
The original Land Rover Defender is well-known for being tough, and we reckon it would pack a good punch as well. That makes it the perfect contender for an Olympic Heavyweight Gold medal.
Boxers also need to be quick and nimble on their feet, so the speed, strength and toughness of the original Defender make it a strong all-round athlete. We reckon it could go the distance over the 3 3-minute rounds but also deliver a knockout blow where needed!
Hockey - BMW M3
Hockey was invented to hone cricketers' skills during the winter, but it has long since evolved into a technical and skillful game in its own right. And that's why we think the BMW M3 would be the perfect midfield maestro to drive its team forward.
It boasts incredible handling, which gives it the close control needed to dribble a hockey ball. It's also got plenty of pace and reliability to keep running up and down the pitch throughout the game. A team of M3s would definitely be a very tough opponent and would surely see Hockey Gold heading to Germany for a 6th time (4 wins for the men and 1 for the women).
Marathon - Toyota Prius
The 26.2 mile long Marathon is a true test of endurance and the longest athletics event at the Olympic Games. Obviously, most car could travel 26.2 miles on a single tank, so we think fuel economy would play a bigger part in 'running' a successful race.
Which means that the Toyota Prius is by far and away the hot favourite. As the most economical car on sale in 2021, the Prius can eek out up to 70 miles per gallon! With reliability that good, it will barely break a sweat while winning a Marathon Gold medal.
Long Jump - Dodge Challenger SRT Demon
To excel at the Long Jump, a vehicle needs to accelerate quickly and be able to get some good height and distance in the jump. Seeing as the SRT Demon accelerates so fast it lifts its front wheels off the road, it stands a good chance of winning a Long Jump medal. And that's before you bring a ramp into it!
While it may not beat the Olympic Record of 8.95m, or even the 8.38m Gold medal jump from Rio 2016, the SRT Demon could certainly hold its own in the final.
Rhythmic Gymnastics (Group) - Aston Martin DB9, Ferrari 458, McLaren 720S, Nissan GTR & Porsche 911
Rhythmic Gymnastics is all about grace, poise and finesse. Athletes are judged on their artistry, execution and difficulty of skills and must have good balance, flexibility, coordination and strength to score enough points to win Gold. So naturally, a team of elegant, well-handling sports cars would stand a great chance in the event.
And wouldn't it be poetry in motion to see a Rhythmic Gymnastics team made up of these five superstars?
Sport Climbing - Fiat Panda 4X4
Sport Climbing makes its debut at Tokyo 2020 and athletes showcase skill, speed and strength when tackling a range of courses. We're sure that an off-road vehicle would do well, and the Fiat Panda 4X4 seems to have the best chance.
It's tough and can handle any terrain well, but it's also small and compact. That means it's not trying to climb with extra bulk, giving it a shot at scaling one of the walls quickly. Seeing as the current world record is an incredible 5.208 seconds, the Panda will need to its all to walk away with Gold!
Football - VW Golf
We picked the Golf to drive our car football team to glory at Euro 2020 and it could win 2 major honours this summer, adding Olympic Gold to its CV.
A consistent and reliable performer, the Golf is unlikely to get rattled on the biggest stage of them all. With the German Olympic team having lost as many finals as they've won (2; 1 Gold for the men and 1 for the women), the Gold could be what they need to consistently bring home the Gold.
Rugby Sevens - Kia Cee'd
Jeremy Clarkson and James May proved that the Kia Cee'd could play rugby (and destroyed the Twickenham pitch in the process), so what better vehicle to compete at the Olympics?
Rugby Sevens debuted in Rio and delivers fast-paced, hard-hitting action. Athletes must be fit and quick enough to keep up with play - and with up to 62.8MPG and a 0-60 time under 11 seconds, the Cee'd fits the bill for success. South Korea aren't well know for their rugby, but this could be their chance!
Triathlon - WaterCar Panther
Triathletes have to swim, ride and run their way to victory, so an amphibious vehicle is the only hope of success. There have been plenty of interesting attempts over the years, but only the WaterCar Panther stands a chance at a medal.
As the Guinness World Record holder for Fastest Amphibious Car, it has a stranglehold over two legs of the Triathlon. The bike ride could be a little more interesting though...
Track Cycling - Nascar
Here's Lightning McQueen's shot at Olympic glory. Nascar tracks are large ovals and the cars only have to turn left to get round - just like a cycling velodrome. With many circuits featuring steep banked corners, the sheer faces of a velodrome won't pose much of a problem either.
USA's track cycling team has won 42 medals throughout the history of the Olympics. We wouldn't put it past their Nascar vehicles to double that very quickly...
Basketball - JCB Digger
A JCB is by no means the most athletic vehicle, but it would be the undoubted slam-dunk King of the court! All its teammates would have to do is get the ball into its bucket and then let the extending arm do the rest. It could lead to some very boring tactics from the GB basketball team but, having never finished higher than 9th, it's our best chance of a medal.
Especially as the USA have won all but 4 of the men's tournaments since 1936, and all but 3 of the women's tournaments since 1976!
Diving - Space Shuttle
Even though the whole point of Diving is to make as little splash as possible, the Space Shuttle would give a valiant effort. It's used to landing in the water from a much greater height than 1, 3, 5 or even 10 metres and, with a bit of luck, it can even get a somersault into the routine.
Is it likely to get a medal? Probably not. Would it be entertaining to watch? Almost certainly. It's been over 30 years since 'Eddie the Eagle' took to the slopes of Calgary and finished last in the Ski Jumping. This would probably be something similar...
Mountain Biking - Subaru Impreza
The Olympic Mountain Biking event is almost identical to a rally stage. It's narrow, it's lined with trees and other dangerous obstacles and it's a test of courage and skill to negotiate it safely. So, what better vehicle to tackle the course than the Subaru Impreza?
A 3-time WRC Constructor and Driver's Championship winner, the Impreza racked up an impressive 46 wins and 122 podiums in 193 races. Enough to claim an Olympic Mountain Biking Gold? It's got a very good chance - but we wouldn't discount the Ford Cosworth or the Audi Quattro either!
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