Best street-legal go-karts [you don’t wanna buy one]

Last Updated on August 20, 2023 by Pittalks

Whether you’re a speed fanatic or looking for something basic, there are all sorts of go-karts catering to many different needs. 

In this article, I will go over the best go-karts you can legally drive on the streets. Read until the end, as the list includes go-karts from different categories, making your go-kart purchase a worthwhile one. 

Let’s dive into it!

Caterham Seven 360

OriginUnited Kingdom
Engine specsFord Duratec 1999cc, 4-cylinder, naturally aspirated
Max speed130 mph
Horsepower180 hp
0-60 time4.8 seconds
Weight1,235 lbs

With decades of racing, superior engineering, and a well-bodied design, The Caterham Seven 360 is in a class of its own. 

The fully carpeted interior and the black leather seats provide sufficient comfort for long distances. The heater is a nice addition during colder days, and the boot offers ample storage space, enough for a quick weekend getaway. 

The Caterham Seven 360 offers an insane power-to-weight ratio with its 180 hp Ford Duratec engine. It can touch 0-60 in just 4.8 seconds. The throttle response is instantaneous and the turning around corners is second to none. The suspension is soft enough to weather the bumps in the road.

If you’re looking for a go-kart that can keep up with a 911 without compromising on comfort, the Caterham Seven 360 is an excellent place to start. All in all, it’s a super fun car to drive.

Polaris Slingshot Grand Touring LE

Engine specsProstar 2.0L 4 Cylinder
Max speed125 mph
Horsepower178 hp
0-60 time4.9 seconds
Weight1,749 lbs

Although the Polaris Slingshot Grand Touring LE is a three-wheel motorcycle, similar to its other variants, the SL and R, it has 70% more features. 

The Polaris Slingshot comes with a 7-inch GPS navigation system with Bluetooth for audio. The autodrive 5 speed automated manual transmission eliminates the need for a clutch. 

The go-kart has quilted seats and heated and cooled seat features. The entire cabin is weather-proof, so you can drive the go-kart while it’s raining without getting wet.

The base model comes with a 178-hp engine, but drivers can tune their go-karts to deliver up to 203 hp. Cruising around is not too shabby and with traction control on, the car does behave pretty well, offering neat handling. 

The price point is a steal, and you’re definitely going to turn a few heads. However, with only 300 made, it might be difficult to get your hands on one.

Ariel Atom 3RS

OriginSomerset, England
Engine specsTurbocharged 2.4L Honda
Max speed155 mph
Horsepower425 hp
0-60 time2.8 seconds
Weight1,450 lbs

The Ariel Atom 3RS is one of the highest-performing models from their Atom lineup. It is equipped with a turbocharged 2.4L Honda and can reach top speeds of 155 mph. The engine produces 425 hp and max out from 0-60 in just 2.8 seconds.

It’s a no-nonsense performance car. However, it doesn’t come with traction control or launch mode, unlike many others on this list.

It’s also a relatively tiny vehicle, you may want to consider that before splashing the cash.

Ariel Atom 4

OriginSomerset, England
Engine specsHonda 2.0L four-cylinder naturally aspirated 
Max speed160 mph
Horsepower320 hp
0-60 time2.8 seconds
Weight1,350 lbs

The Atom 4 is a superbike on four wheels. It trades all the comforts for speed and performance.

The interior is bare, with not much going on. The seats are plastic and have some clothing material to provide a bit of comfort. Fortunately, there is more space for your legs and arms than in the previous Atom.

The suspension is flexible, making the car more comfortable at lower speeds. You can even dial t0he engine down for relaxed driving. But the Atom 4 is made for speed enthusiasts. 

The engine is taken from a Honda Civic Type R hatchback, capable of 320 hp. And when you put your foot down, it takes just 2.8 seconds to go from 0-60. 

The car is time-bending fast, but would you buy the Atom 4? With a Honda engine and no floor mats, the price might be asking too much. But you just can’t go faster for the cash.

Campagna Motors T-REX 16SP

OriginQuebec, Canada
Engine specsHonda – K20C 4Cyl i-VTEC Turbocharged
Max speed130 mph
Horsepower160 hp
0-60 time3.9 seconds
Weight1,157 lbs

The Campagna T-Rex 16SP is a light-weight, three-wheel vehicle with a lean and muscular design. Powered by a six-cylinder BMW K1600 engine, the Campagna Motors T-REX 16 SP is capable of producing 160 hp.

With its lightweight and fantastic choice of engine, the T-REX 16 SP is super fast and can get a quarter mile done in just 12.6 seconds. 

All that said, the T-REX 16 SP has a few drawbacks. The minimal ground clearance will make obstacles challenging to overcome. The stereo can interfere with leg space, and the seats just don’t provide enough lateral support. 

Driving this is the most fun you can have and the attention the T-REX 16 SP receives on the road is overwhelming. Whether it’s worth the price depends on how deep your wallet is and how big your garage is.

Vanderhall Carmel Roadster

OriginUtah, USA
Engine specs1.5 L SGE turbo I4
Max speed140 mph
Horsepower194 hp
0-60 time4.5 seconds
Weight1,505 lbs

A three-wheeled roadster, the Vanderhall Carmel Roadster is luxury on wheels. The steering wheel is made from wood with a polished center. 

The glass black hoops, the side-view mirrors that sit upright, the chrome steering wheel, and the gorgeous gas cap all exude elegance. 

It comes with heated seats, great for colder days. Unlike its previous Venice variant, this one has 8 inches of additional cabin space.

The turbocharged 1.5L engine is capable of producing 194 horsepower. The Carmel is front-wheel drive, gripping heroically when cornering. However, the braking is a bit dodgy. 

At its price point, it is an expensive weekend toy, but there are luxury touring bikes with higher price tags. With this, you have the luxury of doors.

Drakan Spyder

OriginUnited States
Engine specsNaturally-aspirated LS3 E-Rod V8
Max speed165 mph
Horsepower430 hp
0-60 time3.2 second
Weight2,000 lbs

With a 430 hp V8 engine, the Drakan Spyder is superfast. Although the vehicle is made from light-weight fiberglass, it still weighs 2,000 lbs, much more than some of the vehicles we have on this list. 

The Drakan Spyder comes with a six speed manual from a Porsche 911. The windshield provides enough coverage from the wind to allow drivers to reach top speeds without worry. 

The Spyder also has a smooth suspension, ensuring a comfortable ride. It is a low-maintenance track car, but for a road car, it’s quite expensive.

Elemental RP1

OriginHampshire, England
Engine specs1995cc 16v 4-cyl turbocharged engine
Max speed170 mph
Horsepower320 hp
0-60 time2.7 seconds
Weight1,311 lbs

Elemental RP1 looks like a Ferrari, and its performance also resembles one. Fitted with a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine producing 320 hp and its low weight, this bad boy can touch 0-60 in just 2.7 seconds. 

On the track, the Elemental RP1 feels agile, demonstrating exceptional handling prowess. But at first, it will take some time to get used to it. Because of the long-travel clutch, you’ll constantly stall before getting the hang of it. 

There is no Bluetooth system or air conditioning. And with a price tag of more than $111,000, you better have the money and time to spend on track. As a road car, there are plenty of better options out there. 


Engine specsAudi TFSI Inline-4, DOHC, 16v engine
Max speed144 mph
Horsepower300 hp
0-60 time4.1 seconds
Weight1,867 lbs

KTM X-Bow GT is a two-seater track and day car fitted with an Audi 4 cylinder 1984cc engine capable of producing 300 hp. It can top 144 mph and go from 0-60 in just 4.1 seconds.

The car breezes through corners at superfast speeds, comfortably. Driving the KTM X-Bow GT is an experience on its own. The engine roars as you floor the pedal. 

The steering is fantastic and the brakes are unfettered. It looks like a sportscar but is actually a more focused road car with sufficient luggage space. 

It isn’t as thrilling as the Caterham or the Atom, but its dual-purpose personality allows drivers to comfortably drive this as a day car. But at this price point, it’s best to consider your needs. 

Donkervoort D8 GTO-RS

Engine specsAudi 2.5L R5 TFSI
Max speed174 mph
Horsepower380 hp
0-60 time2.7 seconds
Weight1,532 lbs

Donkervoort D8 GTO-RS is as ambitious as its predecessor but is 20% better than the previous model and retains its iconic appearance.

The 2.5L Audi engine can produce up to 380 hp and reach 0-60 in just 2.7 seconds. That’s as fast as a modern 911 turbo. It’s got a racing ABS, traction control system, and an automatic double-clutching feature, making it a great car for race track enthusiasts. 

Announced as a limited edition in 2016, only 40 of these were ever made. If you’re interested in getting your hands on one of these, it might take some time to find one.

BAC Mono

Engine specs2.5-litre Ford Duratec
Max speed
Horsepower285 hp
0-60 time2.7 seconds
Weight1,279 lbs

The BAC Mono is an absolutely beautiful vehicle to look at, and driving it just feels surreal. The car’s footprint is small, and the steering wheel sits at right knee height. It is an exquisitely engineered car offering an unparalleled driving experience. 

The 2.5L Ford Duratec is blisteringly fast, capable of producing 285 hp and touching 0-60 in just 2.7 seconds. The best thing about the BAC MONO is that you can customize the car according to your needs. From the cover to the brakes, exhaust system, and more, the vehicle is highly customizable. 

The Mono is definitely a great blend between a road and track car. With prices starting at $130,000 before options, you won’t find a track race car like this at a cheaper price. But for a family transport vehicle, it is rather impractical.

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