Segway takes aim at playtime with an electric drifting go-kart
For better or worse, you could rarely accuse Segway (now known as Segway-Ninebot) of failing to think outside the box, and the Ninebot Electric Gokart is yet another quirky contraption from the personal transportation company. It won't keep pace with some of the other electric go-karts we've seen, and certainly not this jet-powered one from 2012, but with adjustable frame built to drift, it could provide thrills (and spills) for kids and adults alike.
The Ninebot Electric Gokart is in actual fact a conversion kit for Segway's existing Ninebot miniPro transporter, a handsfree two-wheeler powered by dual 800-W motors. By removing the knee-control bar, the miniPro can be attached to the go-kart's frame and become its motor, accelerating it to 12 mph (19 km/h) in two seconds and onward to a top speed of 15 mph (24 km/h). Range is listed as 12.4 miiles (20 km).
This is relatively slow-going in the world of electric go-karts, especially compared to the C5-Blast Ultimate from Canada's Daymak, said to hit 60 mph (98 km/h) in just 1.5 seconds. But Segway's go-kart is meant more as a playful racer, and with maximum payload of 220 lb (100 kg) and adjustable frame that can accommodate riders between 130 and 190 cm (4 ft 5 in and 6 ft 3 in), it may bring a competitive streak out of family members big and small.
Fitted with a mechanical handbrake, confident riders can also kick the back end out to add some drift and flair to their maneuvering, while also having a backup to the electric footbrake at their disposal.
The 15-mph top speed is possible in Sport mode only, with Novice modes and Standard modes topping out at 5 mph and 10.8 mph (8 km and 17.3 km/h) respectively. This can be controlled through a companion app that also allows for tracking of speed, range and access to rider tutorials.
Other useful features include an ability to collapse the steering column down so it can be stashed in a car boot, a waterproof rating of IPX4 and reversing ability, engaged by a double tap of the brake pedal.
Segway-Ninebot recently earned itself a Best of the Best Red Dot Award for its first go-kart and has taken to Indiegogo to raise funds for production, having amassed more than US$600,000 at the time of writing. Early pledges of US$1,149 remain and will land you the go-kart kit plus a MiniPro transporter, with shipping planned for November should all go to plan. You can check out the pitch video below.