Article from
Popular Science February 2004
(Page 3 of 4)


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SKI 2001 WSK Coverage/Photos
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Vintage Karts
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Pitting the Superkart Against Rivals


Superkart Rivals
Photographs by John Rettie

By Preston Lerner         February 2004
 Hail to the superkart! It leaves a standard sports car like the Mazda Miata in the dust, and even a muscle car like the Corvette, with its beefy hp and flashy top speed, is a pokey 25 seconds slower per lap. The superlight superkart (just 462 pounds) accelerates faster than the Corvette and is nimbler in the curves. The Champ car bests the kart, but there's no shame in that: It costs 20 times more and requires an entire support crew.

Price: $600,000
Engine type: Turbo V8
Displacement: 2.65 liters
Peak power: 700 hp
Hp/liter: 264
Weight: 1,565 lb.
Hp/pound: 0.45
Lateral acceleration: 4 Gs
0-to-60: 2.2 seconds
Quarter mile: 10 seconds
Top speed: 240 mph
Lap time (2.38 miles): 1:10
Cost per second gained*: $11,500


Price: $25,000
Engine type: Inline-4
Displacement: 1.8 liters
Peak power: 142 hp
Hp/liter: 79
Weight: 2,400 lb.
Hp/pound: 0.06
Lateral acceleration: 0.88 G
0-to-60: 8.1 seconds
Quarter mile: 16.3 seconds
Top speed: 121 mph
Lap time (2.38 miles): 2:00
Cost per second gained*: NA

Price: $50,000
Engine type: V8
Displacement: 5.7 liters
Peak power: 350 hp
Hp/liter: 61
Weight: 3,100 lb.
Hp/pound: 0.11
Lateral acceleration: 0.92 G
0-to-60: 4.8 seconds
Quarter mile: 13.2 seconds
Top speed: 175 mph
Lap time (2.38 miles): 1:50
Cost per second gained*: $2,500


Engine type: Two-stroke
Displacement: 0.25 liter
Peak power: 90 hp
Hp/liter: 360
Weight:462 lb.
Lateral acceleration:2 Gs
0-to-60: 4 seconds
Quarter mile:12 seconds
Top speed: 150 mph
Lap time (2.38 miles): 1:25
Cost per second gained*: $143

Performance data for production models from
Car and Driver. Some performance data for Champ car and Superkart are estimates.

*The additional amount of money driver must spend to gain each second on the racetrack, using the Miata as a baseline.
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