Is this the fastest electric go-kart ever?
Choosing humanity's greatest strength is a bit of a tricky task. Is it opposable thumbs? Speech? The ability to convey information in a series of squiggles and dots? Sarcasm?Well, with the C5 go-kart as exhibit A, we'd like to suggest that the greatest gift of all is that of boredom. Without boredom, we'd never have ideas like an all-electric go-kart that can fling itself from a standstill to 96 kilometres an hour in just 1.5 seconds. If you remember, that's basically an EV record, attained by the Grimsel, a vehicle that resembles a go-kart, if it were prepped to tackle Pikes Peak. But, unlike the Grimsel, which uses four wheel hub-mounted electric motors to propel the 168kg pocket rocket from zero to 100kph in 1.513 seconds, the C5 uses a brace of EDFs to quite literally blow itself from here to very far away in about the time it takes to make a confused grunting noise. So, you might be wondering, what exactly is an EDF? Well, it stands for electric ducted fan, which might give you some clue as to the nature of the modern art masterpiece that adorns the back of the C5. If it looks a little aeronautical, that's because it is; it uses the same principle as your average prop plane, but within a shroud that is eerily reminiscent of an airboat. And they're certainly a laugh. The principle is much the same as in the aviation industry - air is sucked into the leading edge of the fan shroud, is sped up and spat out the back, creating thrust. Wonderful, exceptionally dangerous thrust. So, while the standard C5 Blast go-kart uses a 10kW electric motor to propel itself from zero to 96kph in 3.9 seconds, the 'Ultimate' spec (it's hard to argue with the title when it has that many motors) harnesses the power of propellers and the spirit of a Louisiana airboat to accelerate from zero to 96kph in a rather worrying 1.5 seconds. Or at least that's what Canadian outfit Daymak have claimed; we're yet to see anything in the way of definitive proof. So far, we've watched - and heard - as the bevy of EDFs spooled up to leave literal dust clouds in the wake of the C5, and it certainly looks like the handful you were expecting it to be towards the end of this video. But that's really only the start of the craziness. Apparently, those fans that sit either side of the driver aren't ducted to provide even greater longitudinal thrust. Nope, and it's weird to even ponder the concept, but the idea is that they create almost 100kg of thrust directly downwards. And, if you're familiar with Isaac Newton, you'll recognise that the practical upshot is nearly 100kg of lift at full chat. Nope, not downforce a lÃiexcl the Brabham BT46, but lift, to make the C5 perform as if it weighed 100kg. Window, meet tongue. Daymak's president, Aldo Baiocchi, has said that we could actually make it lighter and faster and at some point the go-kart would start floating like the Star Wars land speeder or we could add wings and it would fly. Speed will not be an issue and we think we can even go, eventually, under one second 0 to 60 (96kph), making it faster then any vehicle in existence.So, you might be wondering, what's the price of all this lunacy? Well, it's US$60,000 - a touch over Rs 38.5 lakh. And, we assume, the world's worst-ever case of road rash. Tempted?