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.
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.