In the immediate aftermath of the Model 07 launch, we had two major goals in mind. First and foremost, we wanted to indulge in some form of motorsport so we can further increase our knowledge of sports cars. On the other hand, we needed a project with a faster turnaround that would help us unwind after the exhausting development process of the Model 07 platform. So we thought what better way of combining these two objectives than to build an electric go-kart and go after some lap records.
And so it began. We got ourselves a Maranello chassis and started brainstorming ideas. But from the very beginning, we wanted to do more than simply strapping an electric motor and batteries to a go-kart. We wanted to give it the full ‘Kinetik’ treatment. A proprietary software, in-house developed user interface, futuristic design, 3D printed components and for the most passionate of customers – the ability to personalize the end product. Make it theirs. Completely unique.
Using the latest rapid prototyping techniques, we were able to get a pretty good idea of what our setup was going to be in a matter of days. Unfortunately, that is also when the COVID-19 saga began. Production in factories around the world slowed down to a crawl, deliveries got delayed, and then the borders got closed altogether. Thankfully we make the vast majority of our electronics in-house, so we weren’t as affected by the crisis as most other companies out there.
Two months into the development process, we already had a rolling chassis, so we hit the race track for initial testing. We were more than happy with the performance and the behaviour of the drive train. In fact, at 100% power, we were starting to have traction issues as the tyres were unable to cope with the instant torque from the electric motor. Thus we started working on different power modes and engine maps which eventually found their way into the finished product. They allow drivers of any skill level to enjoy the go-kart in various track conditions.
Once all 3D printed parts were ready, we test fitted them to make sure that there were no clearance issues. We then had them painted to match the car and took the kart out for a few spins. This gave us the chance to evaluate both the design and packaging much more easily and accurately than when we were using augmented and virtual realities in the previous months. It was also a great team-building exercise and a lot of fun, cause who doesn’t like sliding around all day in a 20Kw electric go-kart!
On the 10th of October, our team revealed the Model 27 – a prototype electric go-kart during the Eko 24 Hours endurance race in Haskovo, Bulgaria. The choice of a venue was based on our desire to receive as much feedback as possible from people with considerable experience in the field of go-karting. And we certainly got what we went there for. We were surrounded by more than 200 drivers and mechanics from 12 different countries, most of whom were very excited to see the Model 27 and came by to share their thoughts and advice.
During the event we also had multiple karting champion and Formula BMW driver Nikolay Varbitzaliev drive our electric go-kart to its limits. And while we didn’t get as much track time as we hoped for, we came back full of ideas and eager to implement them to further improve both the handling and power delivery of our track weapon. Moreover, we have also started building a 1 of 1 performance version that is going to have more than double the power of the Model 27. But enough about that, we are going to cover this and other topics related to our electric go-karts in future blog posts. So make sure you subscribe to our newsletter to receive updates about our projects and news about the company. And in the meantime, if you want to get yourself one of our electric go-karts you can head over to the pre-orders page and apply for one!