Bosch has whipped the covers off an all-electric motorsport kart prototype concept developed in partnership with the FIA, the German Motorsport Association and Mach 1 Kart. With 300 Nm (221 lb.ft) of torque on tap, the e-kart will hit 130 km/h (81 mph) and promises to give gas-powered go-karts a run for their money.
The 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint is handled in under five seconds, and Bosch says the kart currently boasts a top speed of over 130 km/h thanks to its 48-volt electric boost system, which puts an impressive 20 kW (27 hp) of power and 300 Nm of torque to the rear wheels.
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Considering how abrupt the acceleration is in an all-electric Telsa Model S, the thought of deploying all that torque with your bum sitting two inches from a wide-open racetrack is properly exciting. Even so, Bosch isn't getting ahead of itself, describing that torque figure as "sporting." We'd say that probably sells it a bit short.
Power can be recuperated through a regenerative braking system that kicks in whenever the foot eases up on the accelerator, meaning Ayrton Senna wannabes have a legitimate excuse to avoid the brake pedal on the track.
"Even during its initial run, the electric kart was able to hit 100 km/h in less than five seconds and achieve a top speed of over 130 km/h," says Dr. Klaus Böttcher, vice president at Bosch Motorsport. "Over the coming weeks and months we will continue testing to further explore the capabilities of the new e-kart."
A custom ECU pulls the battery, motors and regenerative braking system together, working with a set of sensors and wiring harness to distribute power. Although it might sound complex for a little go-kart, the system is actually designed to work with compact cars.
When it goes into production next year, the road-going version of this system, known as the Boost Recuperation System (BRS), will provide an extra 15 kW (20 hp) and 150 Nm (110 lb.ft) to compact petrol-powered cars during acceleration. According to its creators, the extra power is backed up by a 15 percent drop in fuel use and CO2 emissions.
At the moment, the e-kart is just a concept designed by Bosch, the FIA, Mach 1 Karts and the German Motorsports Board to demonstrate the potential for electric power to facilitate exciting entry-level motorsports. But we're sure there would be a no shortage of people putting their hands up to get behind the wheel.
The concept was shown off at the Berlin Formula E event last week.
Source: BoschView gallery - 6 images