Subaru goes karting

Subaru, maker of all things all-wheel-drive, has decided to throw their technological prowess into the ring and produce a slant-cylinder engine to be used in one of our favorite pastimes, karting.

The petite mill is a four-cycle, OHC, air-cooled unit that displaces 211 cc and produces just shy of 10 HP. That will afford racers plenty of power while they compete at the outer limits of adhesion.

Fuji Heavy Industries (FHI) has had their hand in developing an assortment of industrial-grade motors over the course of several years, however this is their first foray into the competitive karting realm.

We're hoping to see this engine at the track soon and hopefully we can bribe the ten-year-old behind the wheel to let us give it a go.

[Source: Inside Line and Subaru]

Press release after the jump.


Tokyo, December 7, 2006 – Fuji Heavy Industries Ltd. (FHI), a global manufacturer of transportation and
aerospace-related products and the maker of Subaru automobiles, today announced the introduction of
Subaru KX21 Sports Kart Engine, a 4-cycle engine expressly designed for racing and fun karts. The sale of
the KX21 began today through Robin distributors around the world with the exception of those in the U.S.

Based on the EX series--air-cooled, 4-cycle, OHC gasoline engines made for general use--the new KX21
Sports Kart Engine has been made to deliver the high power and performance required in karting. The
compression ratio of the KX21 was maximized to 10:1 through modifications in the combustion chamber,
and improvements were made in the air intake system and ignition timing, without compromising fuel
economy or increasing exhaust emissions to the environment.

Although EX engines have proven applicable for use in rental karts, the KX21 has been developed as a kart-
specific engine, boasting high revolutions and power output – at levels that general-purpose engines cannot
match. When mounted in a kart, the new engine, thanks to its light weight, promises to provide agile
handling and competitive driving performance. The KX21 is targeted for skilled adult and junior karters
using rental karts as well as beginning racers who may own their own karts.

A kart is a simple four-wheeled vehicle, with an open structure of frames that hold in place major vehicle
components including the engine, the seat, the steering, and tires. While kart racing is generally the domain
of experienced karters and perceived as a stepping stone to more professional motorsports, karting with
rental karts can be enjoyed by anyone, from juniors to seniors, in kart circuits and tracks, and is an
affordable introduction to motorsports. Karting has gained popularity worldwide, as karts provide different
kinds of momentum and acceleration than regular cars, and drivers directly experience an unusual sense of
speed because of the lower point of sight in a kart.

FHI has long developed, and marketed under the Robin brand, a diverse range of general-use engines, which
have been used to power small construction equipment, compressors, or light agricultural and industrial
machinery. Helping to enhance industrial operations and enrich leisure and outdoor activities, Robin engines
have earned a reputation for their quality, reliability and performance. The introduction of the KX21 for
karting signifies the company's step towards building a new business, and reflects its commitment to further
bolstering its engine business.

Model: Subaru KX21 Sports Kart Engine
Type: Air-cooled, 4-cycle, slant single cylinder, OHC gasoline engine
Displacement: 211ml (cc)
Bore×Stroke: 67mm×60mm
Compression ratio: 10.0:1
Maximum output: 6.8 kW (9.2 PS)/5,600rpm (using the recommended sports muffler)
Overall length × Overall width × Overall height: 321mm×361mm×363mm
Dry weight: 15 kg

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