The kids these days have all the luck. Not only are the video games and TVs 10 — no, 100 times — better than the ones we had, their toys are cooler, too.
To wit: the Actev Arrow Smart Kart electric go-kart. It’s $999 at Amazon and Best Buy, and it’ll make your kids love you more than any piece of tech hardware could. We know you’re asking yourself the same question we did: Can I drive it? The answer is yes, though with about triple the weight of a 9-year-old on board, it’s not quite as fast.
It goes about 12 mph with a child in the driver’s seat, and it gets 30-60 minutes of drive time from a single charge. You can double that drive time if you opt for the double capacity battery. The Actev has two 250-watt electric motors and takes 10 hours to charge on a standard outlet, but just 90 minutes or so with the $50 fast charger. The slick body kit, by the way, is an extra 200 bucks — fun, but not completely necessary.
Like everything, the Actev Arrow has an app. Parents can adjust the speed limit as well as setting up a geofence so the kiddos can’t go too far from the house.
It comes with rubber tires. But optionally, the Arrow can be ordered with plastic covers for the rear wheels that turn the Actev into a drift machine.
These plastic covers slip on in a minute and turn the Smart Kart into a drift machine.
Actev CEO Dave Bell stopped at Autoweek’s Cars in Corktown on Aug. 26 with a test model, and we jumped at the chance to get in the driver’s seat.
With my 160-pound frame on top, the Smart Kart moves surprisingly well. I ran some figure eights in the parking lot of Robbie Buhl’s Detroit HQ on the slicks before switching to the drift tires.
You forget what good steering feels like until you get back into a go-kart after a few years. The manual rack feels like a one-to-one ratio, and making tight corners actually takes some effort. The whole package feels robust, even with me hamfisting the steering wheel and stomping the plastic pedals.
I switched to the drift wheels next, and dammit if I didn’t get a little practice in car control, at 8 mph in a go kart. Twitchy would be an understatement. Smooth, smooth inputs are key, just like when drifting, or driving one of those training wheel cars on wet pavement.
There ARE cheaper go-karts to be had. We’re getting into this new Facebook Marketplace and there’s a ton of junk on there that we would love to see in our collective garages. But that’s the thing: They’re mostly junk. “Ran when parked.” “Needs wheels and a motor.” “Spare parts.”
The Actev’s early reviews on Amazon are great. Though it’s made for ages 5-9, it could easily fit a 10-, 11- or 12-year-old; and in an emergency, a 37-year-old. Actev has customer service and support standing by for any issues, and we can think of a million ways to customize this thing in addition to the body kits, charging accessories and other add-ons you can get from Actev.
The kids these days — they have all the luck.
Check out the Actev Motors Smart Kart here.
Need to close that mouth for less wind drag.
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