Okay racing fans and enthusiasts. I was keeping this post in my back pocket for the holiday season, seeing there are many of us looking for a fun gift to give this season, especially for our kids that we are secretly turning into racing nuts…
You know you’re one of them.
A few months back, I had the gracious opportunity (thanks to my friends at Autoweek) to play with the Actev Arrow Smart-Kart. I know, there’s a bit of “smart” everything out there and you’re either salivating at or sick of the buzzword I just uttered, but bear with me.
Autoweek was hosting their first Cars and Coffee event in Detroit and the California-based company Actev Motors came to join them. As a small, petite 5’4″ individual, my short stature worked in my favor, and having passed enough to be near child-sized I could fit in this made-for-kids kart.
And honestly, when I was done with my test drive, I felt adults were getting the short straw with not having access to a more adult-sized version to play in.
So here’s the thing, it is a smart kart, and electric. The unique thing that makes it stand out from the rest is the app you can use from your smartphone to control it. The Actev App, available on iTunes and the Google Play store, allows individuals to control speeds, braking and create zones for your child to race around in, safely. The limiter easily makes it so they can’t drive more than 2 mph if you so please.
Now, if you’re an adult playing with it, you don’t exactly want to be limited by your speed, especially when you think you are Speed Racer playing in the parking lot. But, if you are truly purchasing this for your children, this gives you a way to keep them safer while playing with their newest “speedy” toy.
When I had a go at the wheel, Dave Bell, the CEO and founder of Actev, was at the helm of the Actev App and put the limiter on for me so I could get acquainted with the shrunken size (which did create a tidge of difficulties in steering), as well as the speed. When he finally let up on the limiter and gave me a go at full speed, I was thoroughly impressed with how incredibly quick I could get around, all at 12 mph. Not to sound cliche, but the steering was quite responsive, and you could take a corner incredibly close (as you can find in the short video I linked at the bottom of this little review).
Don’t be discouraged by the 12 mph limit. It’s quick for your kids, and surprisingly quick-feeling for you too.
So, maybe you’re not sold on the idea of a smart and safe electric kart to give your kid for this upcoming holiday. But wait, I promise there is definitely more.
You are able to customize the “engine sounds” from their custom sound library, as well as get a set of drifting wheels. Karting is fun, but for the older kids, think safe drifting (and not the drifting they are doing on the weekends in the neighborhoods around where you live after the first snow in one of your cars. Okay, maybe that was just me and my friends…).
A full charge can get up to 45 minutes of racing fun. I’m not sure how long we were playing around with it during our little try out, but it felt like maybe we had more time, which I attest to the actual children playing in it at half the speed us adults were playing with it at. And if that’s not enough, you can purchase a double-capacity battery pack to well, double the fun.
You’re a racing fan, that’s why you’re reading this in the first place, so of course you’ll go for the extra ride time.
Also, the sleek frame style gives this kart a more futuristic and distinguishes itself apart from the standard racing karts or the bulky things you see at the local enthusiast go-kart tracks.
They start at $999.95 (okay, I know that’s basically $1000), but honestly, if I had a tyke of my own, I’d be having a quick talk with my husband about how we need this for our child (and myself…). Instead, I’ll be asking Santa, or Dave Bell if they will ever think of making a more adult-sized version someday.
If you’re interested, check them out at ActevMotors.com. And Happy Holidays and well, shopping too!
And as a bonus, here’s an incredibly short clip I posted on my Instagram of myself whirring around a cone in one.