Tesla has already demonstrated the performance potential of electric power in cars, but the technology hasn't made the same splash in the world of go karting. But that looks set to change with Canada-based Daymak using battery power to develop what it claims will be the "world's fastest go-kart".
Meet the C5-Blast Ultimate, which Daymak says will be capable of sprinting to 60 mph (98 km/h) in a neck-snapping 1.5 seconds. That makes the Tesla Model S P100D, which took 2.28 seconds to hit the same mark in Motor Trend testing, look leisurely. At the moment, the fastest accelerating EV in the world is Grimsel, which hits 100 km/h (62 mph) in 1.513 seconds, but Daymak has that title in its sights.
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The C5-Blast's power comes from a 10-kW brushless electric motor fed by a 2,400-Wh lithium-ion battery, but that isn't the only thing helping it leap off the line. The driver is also flanked by four Electric Ducted Fan (EDF) motors that provide 60 kg (132 lb) of forward thrust, whole eight more are mounted in the bodywork providing 96 kg (212 lb) of upwards thrust. According to the company, that means the 200-kg (441-lb) kart performs as if it weighed just 100 kg (220 lb).
"We could actually make it lighter and faster and at some point the Go Kart would start floating like the Star Wars land speeder or we could add wings and it would fly," says Aldo Baiocchi, President of Daymak. "Speed will not be an issue and we think we can even go eventually under one second 0 to 60 making it faster then any vehicle in existence."
Daymak admits that the technology is still at the early stages, so this is all speculative at the moment and the company hasn't said exactly how fast it expects its world's fastest go-kart to go. However, F1 teams have played around with fans for downforce, but there is no proof that creating lift will allow it to go faster. Rather, the horizontal fans in the bodywork would reduce traction, negatively affecting the kart's ability to put its power down, but maybe Daymak is counting on the vertical fans behind the driver offsetting any losses in this area.
Regardless, Daymak, which makes electric bikes, scooters and ATVs, plans to sell two different versions of the kart, with wildly different price tags. The base C5-Blast model, which lacks the EDF system, will hit 60 mph in 3.9 seconds for US$9,999. But if you want the neck-snapping Ultimate model, and we most certainly do, you'll need to pony up $59,999. That isn't a misprint, you could have a Shelby Mustang GT350 and enough change to run a conventional go kart for the price of one Ultimate.
The C5-Blast prototype isn't shown on the track in the video below, but you can get a taste of the jet engine-like sound the kart's fans generate.
Update (May 16, 2017): Text was added highlighting the potential reduction in traction that would likely result from the kart's fan system.