The folks at Wonder Speedway in Noida
Sector 18 were kind enough to give us their entire and brilliant go-karting
facility to us for this test our team had set up. Because MINI says that it is
a “Go-Kart for the Road” it must be worthy of being a go-kart in the first
place. We decided to not compare it to a rival but a real go-kart itself.
Pre-requisitely we knew that the MINI will
obviously be quicker on the straight. It was a given fact. But could the
massive girth of the entire car be able to match the agility of the go kart in
the corners? That was the question we all were dying to know.
The challenge was set as one single driver
had 10 mins of practice laps and 4 laps with a rolling start had to set the
fastest time possible in the kart. Then the MINI had to match the same time
with the same time duration of practice laps and 4 hot laps.
THE GO-KART & THE MINI
The Go-Kart is a standard racing kart,
fitted with a Honda GX 200 engine and produces 5.5bhp. This doesn’t sound much
but it only weighs as much as a sack of potatoes and can be lifted in the air
by just two people. So it’s light, and light is good for racing. Mechanically
it has a solid differential at the back, connected to the rear wheels directly.
At the front is a steering wheel connected to the front wheels so no suspension
at all. In the middle is plastic seat which seemed more comfortable to sit in
with no padding than most luxury cars with leather seats. Right at the front
are two pedals for throttle and brake on the right and left respectively
connected by bicycle cables and that’s it.
Being this light, the Go-Kart is
blisteringly fast, taking really hard corners at full throttle. It just finds its grip from somewhere on the
track. Feeling comfortable we were ready
for the timed hot laps, I got into the kart and I just floored it. I could feel
that with every lap, the kart was just getting quicker and quicker. It was
going to make it harder for the MINI, the quickest lap time in the kart was
Then it was the turn of the MINI. Because
of its size, some of the tight turns like turn 3, 4 and 5 had to be taken wider
than one would in the Go-Kart which led to loss of time. The MINI Copper D is
also the fastest accelerating Mini out there with a 0-100kmph time on 9.2
seconds. We knew the MINI was going much faster and was able to get to 85kmph
on the straight which was probably quicker than the kart. But in the corners,
could it go faster still?