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Karting1 Tests Aixro XR50 Wankel Kart Engine, and Oh God - it's AWESOME!!!


We turned up at Lydd on a typical Lydd day, sub-zero temperatures and gale force winds expecting to be testing an over-hyped and over-engineered lump. We heard the rumours that the XR50 Rotary eats ICC karts for breakfast and bangs out about 48hp, and frankly we doubted it...... but what we encountered was simply a life changing experience. The Aixro XR50 kart puts you in a whole different universe! Hit play on the video and enjoy....

When you first see the XR50 the only clue you get to its neck braking performance is the big fat chain and front brakes 'a la' ICC karts, without the gearbox.


But the engine itself looks like a rather innocent and humble unit, nicely engineered and clearly put together with a great deal of care. Not surprising since it's built and designed by German engineers. Certainly it doesn't look like an engine to be in awe of, until you drive it!

Here's the video test of this awesome engine -


Alan Dove is our kart tester here, and he still hasn't got over his test in the XR50, here's what he had to say.

"The Aixro XR50 Rotary is simply the best kart engine I have ever driven. It’s crazy mental good. Forget about your TKM’s, Rotax Max’s, Bilands, ICC's or whatever you drive, the Aixro XR50 Wankel Kart engine has to be the future. It’s awesome, and on a completely new level of kart driving experience. "

"I got two sessions in the kart, and they were the best two sessions of karting I have ever done in my life. I didn’t push it very hard and it was freezing cold, but I saw the light people…THE LIGHT. The engine just kept pulling from zero upwards and then some more. Its just kept on accelerating on and on and that’s why it needed front brakes. Even though in the second session the engine wasn’t running as sweet as the first due to the freezing cold conditions, it still had enough power to blow me away."

"I just couldn’t believe that an engine of that size could deliver that much power, and furthermore it was relatively quiet. I am now struggling to think of why I would drive any other kart engine. It is just that good. It’s surely as quick as a Formula A, and I reckon it would compete with an ICC, and it hasn't even got a gearbox! It's just straight, uninterupted power."

"When you’re driving, its like your right foot is connected with the road. The engine responds immediately to every movement of the accelerator. There’s no delay in power delivery, and no dip in the power curve. There is just so much power to play with. You'd have to be highly skilled to go quick."

"I had a few sessions in a Biland kart also to warm up, which was kindly donated by Kai Attwood, who also organised the day... so a big thanks to Kai!. The Biland felt so slow compared to the Aixro XR50 Rotary Kart Engine. I thought the Biland was great the first time I drove it for karting1.co.uk, but now the Biland just seems on a lower par."

" I have never driven a kart with front brakes so I didn’t really know how hard to push it. I would be exiting a tight corner thinking - ‘Alan, you’re the man on the edge’, and as I am exiting the corner I would find I was only at half throttle. The engine had a whole lot more grunt there for me. I just couldn’t believe there was so much more power to come. There was me thinking I was well quick on the exits, and in fact the engine was hardly breaking a sweat. I wish I could have this engine for longer to realise its full, or more realistically, near-full potential."

"The kart itself handled OK.. And to be quite honest, I didn't really have time to think about the handling. What I did get from the handling regarding the engine is that the engine is pretty light (17kg) and more like a 2-stroke kart engine, rather than a 4-stroke. But we weren't testing the kart, we just wanted to put our foot down and go!"

You can really tell that someone who understands real karting built this engine. And it’s designer Paul A. Woelfle from Nova Racing – was there at the circuit with us. This is the man behind the karting careers of H-H Frentzen, and Nick Heidfield. He knows his stuff, and it was fun to hear his karting stories about Senna, Schumacher etc… He has been there, and he is still doing it! Paul A. Woelfle is a kart engine genius, put simply! He has created something that is on par with Einstein discovering the ‘Theory of Relativity’.


Paul A. Woelfle, and his Aixro XR50 Wankel kart engine encompass what karting is about for me – passion with balls!

With the CIK wanting to introduce 4/ stroke engines in the ‘not so far off’ future, I think karters should really consider the benefits of kart engines like the Aixro XR50. The emissions are extremely low, they’re very quiet, and unlike a normal 4-stroke engine the Aixro XR50 is designed to take the heavy loads of braking in a kart.

I would be happy to see this breed of Wankel kart engine take over after 2-stroke kart engines are gone. That’s how excited I am about this engine.

What more can I say– the engine produces around 48hp, has rebuild intervals of a standard 4-sroke kart engine (once in a blue moon), and stupidly quick with a perfect power band. It’s just so much fun to experience. The Aixro XR50 Wankel Kart Engine is truly out of this world, and one of the finest kart engines ever made!

And if you want confidence in your product, each engine is bench tested before it's sent to you!

The future is bright, the future is Wankel!



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Visit the website of the Aixro XR50 Rotary (Wankel) Kart Engine to get all the technical info and pricing up-dates. Currently the motor goes for around £2800 which seems steep, until you drive the damn thing!!

Find out how one of these Wankel engines work

Some nice pictures of the XR50 on a Swiss Hutless