Superkarts! USA (SKUSA), in conjunction with IAME USA and IAME S.P.A., are excited to announce details of the long awaited release of the SKUSA shifter engine (SSE). The powerplant has been in development for several months with multiple iterations, developments, and improvements along the way. Both IAME and SKUSA couldn’t be more excited for the next evolution of the shifter platform in Superkarts! USA competition.
“It’s no secret, I’m a gearbox guy at heart,” explained SKUSA president Tom Kutscher. “As far back as the days when I drove in SKUSA myself, I’ve always enjoyed the added challenge of shifting gears. That said, finding the appropriate successor to the current engine format was something I took great care to consider and make perfect.”
Superkarts! USA entrusted longtime karting veteran, and IAME engine expert Lynn Haddock to consult on the new project. “We wanted something specific to the North American market,” clarified Tom Kutscher. “It would have been really easy to run something that already exists, but Lynn worked with IAME and Tillotson to help create something that is not only fast, it is uniquely specific to our racing formats in the states. It’s also incredibly reliable and affordable, which was one of the key motivations in the design.”
The new IAME shifter engine will make its official North American debut at the SKUSA SummerNationals in New Castle, Indiana. As was the case all season, there will again be demonstration engines on karts that qualified drivers may test drive. There will also be IAME factory representation conducting lectures and seminars about maintenance and care of the engines.
The new IAME “SSE” will be available for purchase by all teams and drivers beginning in August with an exciting introductory pricing structure. For a limited time, new engine packages will be available for the MSRP of $3655.00 USD (normally $5695.00). The comprehensive package comes with everything for basic operation, including ignition, carburetor, pipe, inlet silencer, and water pump with pulley. The water cooled, reed valve engine produces a staggering 49 HP at 13,000 RPM and a hefty 27 ft. pounds of torque at 12,500 RPM.
The special pricing initiative is the culmination of joint cooperation by Superkarts! USA, IAME USA West, and IAME USA East. “We recognize there’s a significant financial outlay to get into the SSE format,” remarked Eric Jones of IAME USA East. “Similar to the popular X30 trade-in program a few months back, we really wanted to offer something special to teams and drivers making the leap into the class. We sharpened our pencils to get as aggressive as we could on the pricing and make it as affordable as possible.”
The IAME SSE will see its competition debut at the 2019 SKUSA Winter Series in Homestead, Florida. The tentative plan is to introduce the engine format and classes for both ‘pro shifter’ and ‘masters shifter.’
“Entry numbers have dwindled in our national shifter program, that’s no secret,” added SKUSA’s Tom Kutscher. “The constant sentiment we hear is that people are quite honestly looking for something new. We originally had hoped to have the engine race ready for 2018, but for a change of this magnitude, we want everything absolutely perfect.”
To aide in the transition for teams and drivers, IAME is also committing hands-on personnel from the factory to be in attendance at the Winter Series debut. “It’s completely understandable that there will be a learning curve and more feedback to gather,” Kutscher said. “We want to make every possible resource available to our racers so they can get their questions answered in a timely and direct fashion. Having IAME factory representation on-hand is something we believe very strongly in.”
Similar to the popular X30 format in the United States, the new SKUSA Shifter Engine will once again have a claiming rule in national competition. Technical regulations and parity will again be of utmost priority, similar to the existing X30 single speed engines. Furthermore, there will be a ‘freeze’ on any major SSE updates or upgrades, ensuring racers have peace of mind in their investment.
“We’re taking what worked well for the X30 format and bringing that concept to the shifter engine too,” said IAME’s Lynn Haddock. “We’ve seen the consequences of manufacturers forcing upgrades on customers. This is something we vehemently opposed from the outset. We want our racers to know their purchase will be good for several years to come.”
More details and dealer information will be available in the coming days and interested racers and teams are invited to contact IAME USA West or East to arrange priority fulfillment. Orders will be filled on a first come, first served basis. Those looking to be among the first to have the new engine are advised to place their orders early.