Sodi karts have a tremendously rich history. Although their history is fairly short compared to some other kart manufacturers, it is full of success, and Sodi is one of the most popular karting manufacturers around. In addition, they also dominate the rental kart industry.
Sodi Kart was founded in France in 1981. They have become a world leader in producing karting chassis and have won numerous karting world championships. In addition, they also host their very own rental kart world championship.
Below, we will take a closer look at why Sodi’s rental karts are so popular, as well as their ‘magic’ formula to producing world class karting chassis. We’ll also review a few of their top performing go-karts as well.
History Of Sodi Karts
Sodi is a relatively young kart manufacturer when you compare them to their rivals. Whereas CRG was founded in 1970, and Tony Kart in 1958, Sodi is considered to be among the younger generation of kart brands. But that is by no means a reason for them to sit back and watch the more established manufacturers win!
In fact, only a year after founder Gildas Mérian built the company’s first chassis, they started taking national karting titles in France. Sodi is a company that is very focused on the future. This has been proven time and time again through their constant innovations throughout the years.
A Focus On Rental Karts
In 1991, Sodi was flat out in producing both rental and racing karts. However, the company took an interesting turn in 1993, which was questioned by many in the kart manufacturing market. Sodi had decided to focus all manufacturing on rental karts only and ceased producing racing karts.
This strategy was put in place in order to generate funds for the future of the company, and in 1998 the ever patient Gildas Mérian’s strategy paid off as they built a brand-new factory and Sodi Kart moved into a rapid rate of high-tech production.
Return To Racing
In 2003, Sodi made their return to racing karts. It didn’t take them long to get back to their winning ways either. Having been absent from racing for ten years, they made an impressive comeback, with two vice titles in World Championship karting.
Sodi has won a number of karting titles over the years. Their trusted brand has been chosen by many famous drivers, such as current F1 drivers Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz and Pierre Gasly. In addition, they have started a network of karting drivers who are all able to link with each other online and compete at Sodi-supported tracks.
Sodi Kart’s Racing Karts
Sodi has a strong racing pedigree. They have been able to win championships essentially since they were created, proving that Sodi karts are fast. They also have a strong research and development unit, which is always working to out-innovate their competition.
This research and development team is in constant communication with the Sodi Racing Team to try and continuously improve their chassis. The team is always working to develop their kart, even when they are in winning form.
The Racing Team
Sodi Kart have an advanced driver academy, which usually consists of some of the strongest karting drivers in Europe. The team is generally a good place to look if you want to see who the up and coming karting drivers are.
Charles Leclerc was a part of this team in 2010, and they have had a number of other famous names over the years. The 2019 karting season saw Sodi take 8 wins in major international KZ and KZ2 competitions.
Sodi Kart’s Rental Karts
In 1986, Gildas Mérian saw a gap in the karting market. Not everyone was able to enjoy and experience motorsport for themselves. You would have to invest a huge amount of money in either buying your own kart or car and taking it to a race track.
This of course came with huge risks. What if you didn’t enjoy karting after buying a kart? What if you damaged your kart and couldn’t afford to fix it? And so came the creation of Sodi leisure karts – better known to us in modern times as the rental kart.
Getting A Head Start
These rental karts were available for anyone to use and to experience motorsport first-hand. This early focus on the market is what propelled Sodi so far ahead of the rest of the manufacturers in the rental kart industry.
The 2000’s brought a new era for motorsport as a whole, and along with it came a renewed focus on safety. With the dangers of motorsport still fresh in people’s minds, the public became more and more wary of motorsport.
This meant that Sodi had to put a major focus on the safety element in rental karts in order to keep people coming back. Even today, Sodi puts a huge focus on safety when it comes to their rental – and racing – karts.
Their innovations from the early 2000s are still being used in rental karts today. Sodi are an extremely future-focused company and they are constantly looking to innovate new safety features on their karts.
Alongside safety, they also focus on the performance of their rental karts, and they have a huge variety of karts to choose from. Their consistent innovations have really put them far ahead of their competition. Moreover, Sodi have built up trusted reliability in their rental karts, ensuring that they can survive the hits that will inevitably occur when you put 10 inexperienced drivers in go-karts!
Sodi Karts are easy to maintain, and any required parts can be obtained online or from a local supplier. Having this established network has only helped them to grow even more.
Sodi’s newest innovation in rental karting is an all-electric kart. With the world now focusing more and more on green cars and electric motorsports, Sodi pioneered it in the karting world before everyone else. It is this level of innovation that helps keep them ahead of the market.
Sodi’s rental karts have become famous worldwide for their performance, reliability and safety. However, the evolution that is really pushing the company forward is the Sodi World Series (often called the Sodi W Series or SWS).
Sodi Kart World Series
Sodi has pushed even further with rental karting by building an affordable and easy gateway into the world of motorsport. Whether drivers are just racing for fun or competing to become a world champion, the Sodi World Series is perfect.
Anyone can enter the competition, as the races are organised in an arrive and drive style. Karts are prepared prior to the race weekend and are ready to race on the day of the event. The entry fees to the races cover the cost of tires and fuel. Safety gear can be also be rented for those who do not have their own.
Sodi offers the Sodi World Series free of charge if the circuit meets the necessary requirements with a minimum of 6 karts on track. It gives a great base for leagues and other competitions to be hosted in various countries across the world.
The Points System
All registered drivers and endurance teams are tracked through a points system. Any registered driver can take part in a SWS event anywhere in the world, and their points will still be counted towards their overall ranking.
So, if you go on holiday to Dubai and you visit the Dubai Kartdrome, you can participate in an SWS race in Dubai, and your results will still count towards your overall ranking on the SWS website!
The World Finals
The best drivers and teams from around the world are invited to the Sodi World Finals. Hosted once a year, this is where hundreds of the best drivers race against each other to become the SWS Champion.
The races are split into sprint races and endurance races. So, you can either compete by yourself in a sprint series, or you can gather up some friends and take on a 12-hour endurance race. This is why the series is so appealing, because it is professional, but also fun and not as serious as Rotax racing.
KEY POINTS• Sodi Kart have a short but rich history in the world of go-kart manufacturing
• They have put a strong focus on rental karting
• Their World Series events are extremely popular too
Sodi Kart’s Current Range: 3 Karts Reviewed
1. Sigma KZ
This is the kart you will most likely be looking at if you wanted to buy your own Sodi kart. This kart is fantastic because of the research and development that has gone in to improving this kart over the years.
This new chassis was developed specifically using feedback from three drivers: World Karting Champion Bas Lammers, Vice World Champion Anthony Abbasse, and European KZ2 Champion Adrien Renaudin. So, if you choose this chassis, you know that you are buying World Championship quality!
Some Great Features
Some of the new features on this chassis are very innovative. The front axle has been redesigned, adding the possibility of 4 different setup settings. In addition, the Excentric Pills have been updated, allowing for the ride height to be easily adjusted. Further, Bas Lammers has developed a new steering rod for this kart, which gives you more control over the kart.
The Sodi Sigma chassis has been a favorite of karting drivers and champions across the world. The chassis has been tested and proven time and time again over years of professional racing. You absolutely cannot go wrong with this chassis!
2. Sodi Delta
The Sodi Delta chassis is designed for beginner drivers and cadet and mini classes. This chassis has been fitted with the best safety kit that has been designed and improved over many years. It’s excellent for beginners who are learning the ropes.
Ideal For Kids
What makes this chassis great for kids is that it comes with easy adjustable pedals, so as kids grow, they can simply slide to adjust the pedals based on their height. Moreover, the steering wheel can be angled as needed depending on the height of the driver.
This chassis is a fantastic intro for kids to the world championship-winning Sodi brand.
3. Sodi RT8
Being the world leaders in rental and leisure karting, a Sodi review simply has to contain one of their quality rental karts. What better kart to talk about than the magnificent RT8? This kart has really pushed the envelope when it comes to rental karts.
The RT8 is the culmination of 38 years of research and development and rental kart experience put onto four wheels. This kart has all of the latest safety features, as well as easy to remove bodywork for simple maintenance.
Great Range Of Features
Some of the exclusive features that Sodi offer for this kart are their easily adjustable pedals, custom stickers, full floor covering, and full cover bodywork. This makes the kart safer, more customizable, and easier to adjust to your preference.
The ability to electronically adjust the power output on the engine to make the karts more equal, or the ability to use a remote control to safely slow a kart down if a driver is driving recklessly, are just two features that make this an excellent rental kart choice.
The safety features of this kart go even further still, boasting state-of-the-art shock absorbers for wheel-to-wheel impacts.
An Improvement Over The RX8
The RT8 is the younger, faster sister of the RX8 kart. In terms of racing karts, it’s like going from junior class to senior class. Everything about the RT8 is an improvement. It has a massive speed advantage on the straights, and a lot more mechanical grip.
I remember when my local track first got two of these karts. There was a lap time requirement set that you had to beat first in order to be able to drive them. I qualified and I instantly fell in love with it. These karts felt twice as fast as the RX8 and I could lap about 4 to 5 seconds faster. Being the only RT8 on track with 10 other RX8 karts made you feel like Lewis Hamilton!
Sodi Kart pioneered rental karting and have pushed their way to several karting titles over the years, becoming a favorite brand of many world champions. The Sodi World Series has gained traction year after year, quickly becoming one of the most popular racing series in the world because of how easy it is to enter and race in.
Sodi have produced world championship-winning drivers, and they have numerous alumni in Formula 1. If you are planning on buying a Sodi kart and you want to emulate these drivers’ success, you should definitely go with Sodi Sigma KZ chassis.