Sodi karts have a tremendously rich history. Their history may be short; however, it is full of success, and Sodi is one of the most popular karting manufacturers out there. In addition, they also dominate the rental kart industry.
Sodi was created in France in 1981. They have become the 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.
We will also be reviewing three different Sodi karts at a later point in this post. We will take a closer look at why their rental karts are so popular, as well as their ‘magic’ formula to producing world class karting chassis.
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 again through their constant innovations throughout the years.
In 1991, Sodi was flat out in producing both rental and racing karts. However, in 1993 the company took an interesting turn, which was probably 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.
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 throughout 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 has a strong racing pedigree. They have been able to win championships essentially since they were created. They also have a strong research and development unit which is constantly working to out-innovate their competition.
This research and development team is in constant communication with the Sodi Racing Team to try and constantly improve their chassis. The team is always working to develop their kart, even when they are in winning form.
Sodi karts have an advanced driver academy, which usually consists of some of the strongest karting drivers in Europe. Therefore, 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.
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 racetrack.
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? Thus, came the creation of Sodi leisure karts. Better known to us in modern times as the rental kart.
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 means 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 has a huge focus on safety when it comes to their karts.
Their innovations from the early 2000s are still being used in rental karts today. Sodi are an extremely future-focused company and are constantly looking to innovate new safety features on their karts.
Alongside safety, they also focus on the performance of their rental karts, and 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 16-year olds in go-karts.
They have easy maintenance on their karts, 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 has pioneered it into the karting world before everyone else. It is this innovation, and swift trend jumps that keeps them ahead of the market when it comes to kart manufacturers.
Sodi’s rental karts have become famous worldwide for their performance, reliability and safety. However, the evolution that is really pushing this company forward is the Sodi World series.
Sodi 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 competing for fun or competing to become a world champion and professional racing driver, this series is perfect.
Any participant can enter 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. Entry fee to the races covers the cost of tyres 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 and there is 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.
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. The best part is that you don’t need your own gear or kart to participate.
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 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 race against each other to determine a 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.
Sodi Kart: 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 been carried out by the Sodi team throughout the years.
Feedback from hundreds of Sodi drivers from around the world has resulted in this chassis. 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, when you buy this chassis, you know that you are buying World Championship quality.
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 over numerous years. It is excellent for beginners who are learning the ropes.
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 a rental kart review. What better kart to talk about than the magnificent RT8. This kart has pushed the envelope when it comes to rental karts.
The RT8 is the culmination of 38 years of technology 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 maintenance.
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.
There is so much more interesting technology that has gone into this kart though. For example, the ability to electronically adjust the power output on the engine to make the karts more equal or using a remote control to safely slow a kart down if a driver is driving recklessly.
The safety features of this kart go even further still, boasting state-of-the-art shock absorbers for wheel-to-wheel impacts.
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 ton more mechanical grip.
I remember when my local track first got two of these shiny new toys. 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 is such an important part of karting history. They have pioneered rental karting and have pushed their way to several karting titles over the years, becoming a favorite brand of many world champions.
Since the Sodi world series was created, it 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 including Charles Leclerc, Carlos Sainz, and Pierre Gasly. If you are planning on buying a Sodi kart, you should definitely go with Sodi Sigma KZ chassis.