More than 100 years ago, Briggs & Stratton strapped a ‘motor-wheel’ to a buckboard and developed the ‘Flyer‘. By today’s standards, this is much closer to a kart than a car, but in the early 20th century, it was being sold as vehicle for use on public roads.
Fifty years later, the original go-karts were developed in California, combining a simple chassis and a lawnmower motor. Even in the early days of the sport of karting, there were a multitude of manufacturers trying to develop the best product on the market.
Today, karts have morphed into something unrecognizable to the OGs of the karting universe. The additional of sidepods and nosecones for improved safety have brought about some truly hideous looking creations.
But what will future karts look like? Without a doubt, aerodynamics will continue to develop, as will the use of lighter, stronger materials like carbon fiber. Will wheels be enclosed (like FIA Formula E) to reduce turbulence from tires, and further enhance safety?
As every new supercar manufacturer introduces their latest 1,000 HP electric road rocket, the future of gas powered kart racing looks bleak. Early adopters of electric technology in karting like K1 Speed and Bombardier have reaped the benefits, and will continue to lead the market in this new direction.