There is no replacement for displacement? Yes, there is. It’s called trimming off weight. While it may seem absurd to line up a BMW M140i against a go-kart, especially if the hot hatch has been tuned, the two have almost identical power-to-weight ratios. This F21-generation model compact model has had its B58 engine dialed from 335 to 460 horsepower, which it needed to duel the go-kart and its measly 50 hp.
Tipping the scales at 1,475 kilograms (3,251 pounds), the M140i is a colossal compared to the single-seater and its 90 kg (198 lbs) curb weight without a driver. The go-kart rides on slick tires and sends power to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential transmission. The BMW is also RWD but uses a remapped eight-speed automatic torque-converter gearbox.
The outcome is closer than you think as the go-kart was significantly quicker in the beginning of the drag races. However, the tiny 125-cc engine predictably runs out of puff at higher speeds, allowing the M140i to catch up and take the win every single time. The car needed 12.4 seconds to complete the quarter mile at a trap speed of 116 mph while the go-kart took 13.06 seconds at only 92.5 mph.
Unsurprisingly, the go-kart was quicker to 60 mph by doing the sprint in just 3.8 seconds while the M140i took 4.22 seconds. However, that wasn’t enough as the BMW unleashed its inline-six fury and reached a substantially higher speed as it approached the finish line. Even in the subsequent rolling race, the go-kart still had the edge at the start before the M140i caught it and made it look smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror. In the second rolling race, the BMW had a better start and didn’t allow the pocket rocket to take even a temporary advantage.
Yes, the BMW unpredictably won all duels but the single-seater is a reminder power isn’t everything as weight is just as important. That’s why enthusiasts keep complaining about how new performance cars keep getting heavier. Automakers are throwing in a lot more power to try and compensate for the added bulk but sometimes less is indeed more.
Source: OFFICIALLY GASSED – OG / YouTube