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Energy-efficiency in wireless ad-hoc networks with resource-limited nodes is a field given much attention in recent research. In this paper, we target short-range applications, so that circuit and transmission power consumption is of the same order of magnitude, and must be included in the overall energy budget. A cross-layer route optimization scheme, based on adaptive modulation and power control is proposed. This scheme jointly optimized all nodes throughout a given multihop route. It is shown that, compared to fixed-rate systems, tremendous energy savings can be achieved while stringent QoS-requirements can be met. However, the proposed model and simulations are based on a number of idealized assumptions, making it most suitable for benchmark testing of real systems.