Over the years, go karts have evolved just like any other vehicle. Today, there are numerous models and designs available, each offering their own unique strengths and weaknesses in terms of speed, performance and endurance. One of the most important features of any go kart is the engine. The majority of go karts will either use gas, electric or LPG engines.
Standard gas engines are available in two and four stroke designs. Some are simply slightly modified versions of standard car engines, while others are specifically designed for go karting applications. Due to the high-speed nature of go karting, they can burn through a large amount of petrol quickly, making them somewhat expensive to keep running. They also emit a large amount of fumes and make a lot of noise, meaning they’re not ideal for indoor rally driving.
Gas engines work through internal combustion, with a revolving piston that powers the crankshaft of the engine. They range from standard five to 20 horsepower models to advanced designs that can reach up to 90 horsepower and speeds of over 300 kilometres an hour. Air cooled, industrial based models are the standard, produced by leading manufacturers including Honda, Kohler, PRD and Yokama KTM.
Electric motors are a more recent innovation that promise better carbon efficiency, no smoke or fumes and far less maintenance to keep them running. They are powered by lead-acid batteries and must be charged from a dedicated electrical outlet between each race. They are suitable for both indoor and outdoor go karting tracks, and are generally quieter than gas engines. While many drivers praise their efficiency and ease of use, they do have some considerable weaknesses, most glaringly the fact that they can usually only run for around 20 minutes without a recharge before the performance starts to be affected. Some manufacturers have compensated for this by designing standard two-stroke engines with optional electric motors. Engines fitted with hydrogen fuel cells are also available.
At Capital Karts, we’re dedicated to providing the best possible driving experience for our racers, which is why all of our karts are fitted with innovative LPG engines. This stands for Liquefied Petroleum Gas, a fuel that combines propane and butane and is commonly referred to as Autogas. It is known to burn considerably less fuel than an equivalent amount of petrol.
We use LPG engines because of their excellent performance range – a full tank can last up to three hours, making them ideal for longer races such as Grands Prix and endurance events. They’re also more cost-effective than standard petrol due to their more efficient burn rate, in addition to offering cleaner, more environmentally friendly emissions that most people can’t see or smell at all.
Many drivers appreciate an authentic engine noise when Go Karting, and the LPG engine provides this, but at a softer, less harsh pitch that’s easier on the ear and doesn’t block out other sounds. These more manageable sound levels and cleaner emissions make the LPG engine the perfect choice for a wide range of rallying styles.