25. Go-kart mode: ENGAGE!


The time is nigh!  It’s about time to get really brave and give the car its first road test.  It’s in Go-kart stage which basically means it’s mechanically (almost) complete without any real interior or bodywork.

First time getting the car back on the ground after bleeding in the clutch.  My first time driving the car was good for about 2 inches before I rolled forward far enough to hit the QuickJack lifts which were still under the car – d’oh!
A little more prepared; QuickJack lifts have been moved out from underneath the car!  Must remember to open that garage door …
Garage door opened – wow, what a mean looking rear end!  These rear tires look ginormous!  I can’t quite understand why but for some reason I’m continually drawn back to the rear diffuser – it’s one of the design features which I really love about the car.  A bit too small to be all that functional, but I love it anyway.

Here’s a short video of my cheesy 5ft drive.  Yep.  I stalled it.

First drive

I needed to prep the car so we can get it ready for exhaust work.  So not a whole lot of progress but here’s a few more photos…


Angle showing concavity of the rear wheel – CF10s are hands down the best wheel option, IMHO.


Angle showing concavity of front wheels.


This is a pic of me sitting flat on the ground next to the car.  I’m trying to keep the camera level as best as I can.  This car is low!

This is my first attempt at any sort of video editing and frankly – it’s not very good.  Regardless, hope you enjoy!

Superlite SLC – First road test

Time for a hard truth: I was scared.  I didn’t have the wherewithal to really take in the moment and enjoy it.  What kept running through my mind was – “Don’t wreck!  Don’t wreck!”  The tires felt slippery and there was way more power than the car needs, especially without any bodywork or interior added.  I don’t know what it weighs in its current state but it felt light.  Actually, it didn’t feel like anything – I couldn’t feel any “heaviness” to the car at all, just felt as though it weighed … superlite ;).  Kidding aside, I was pretty surprised by this fact; maybe because I was just putting around at <25mph, the CG is super low, and I didn’t really transition in any direction all that hard.  I’m guessing my final assembled weight will be in the 2900-3000 lb range so I’m wondering how the car will drive once all that extra poundage gets added.

Steering effort – another previous concern of mine.  Without power steering I was worried this car might be difficult to drive.  From a standstill it take a little bit of elbow to get the wheels turned – but not much, maybe that can be attributed to the 350mm steering wheel.  Once underway, it’s super easy to steer, much more so than my street car.  In portions of the video you can see me turning the wheel with one hand, it’s that easy.

Clutch/shifter – I’m very happy I went with the OEM package.  Very light clutch pedal and engagement was easy.  It’s been about 3 years since I last drove a manual and I felt right at home with the SLC.  The R8 shifter is super smooth and you don’t even think about it – as it should be.  The reverse lockout is really nice and easy to disengage.

Brakes – too early to say.  Certainly very weird not having power brakes.  Will have to evaluate once they get bedded.

Blah … I’m a bit speechless, still thinking about the drive and how pumped up I was, didn’t really do any kind of evaluating.  Mostly scared, lots of excitement, and super relieved it went well!

A few words of advice from Bob and Ellie – “Don’t wreck it!”
Getting ready to engage Go-kart mode!
Covered up till it’s time for some exhaust work.  With the tarp draped over the back the lines are pretty awesome – even looks like a supercar with just some tarps on top!
The face of relief after not wrecking.


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