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KTM X-Bow focuses on function over form. Image by KTM.

KTM X-Bow focuses on function over form
Lightweight and uber-quick, KTM's first road car looks set to take on the best of British with bike-inspired design.
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2008-03-14: KTM stretches the X-Bow
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| New Sports Car | KTM X-Bow |

Meet KTM's extreme X-Bow, the company's first attempt at a full road-legal sports car, and quite possibly the most striking track-day-come-B-road-blaster to date. The X-Bow's all carbon-fibre chassis weighs just 70kg, whilst the whole car tops the scales at a mere 700kg; making it 45kg lighter even than Lotus's 2-Eleven.

KTM has signed a deal with Audi Hungaria, who will supply 2.0-litre TFSI engines chosen for their light and compact design; fitting in a car whose tub will weigh less than almost all the drivers who use it. Supercharged, the borrowed motor will produce 240bhp translating into 343bhp per tonne, which will send the orange and black two-seater from 0-62mph in 3.9 seconds - 0.1 seconds quicker than the rival 2-Eleven. If those figures aren't enticing enough, KTM will offer a simple computer chip upgrade to boost power up to 300bhp, sending the racer after Ariel's ludicrous 300bhp supercharged Atom.

On track however, in a bid to compete more successfully with the likes of Radical's SR4 (which boasts both quicker acceleration and less weight), KTM has developed the X-Bow using a Dallara-owned wind tunnel. What has emerged is a car that can generate 200kg of downforce at 125mph thanks to an integrated rear diffuser, whose profile is unspoiled by a rear suspension fitted higher into the car to smooth air flow and maintain aero-efficiency. As a result the car is said to be capable of cornering at 1.23G.

Aero-efficiency was a major influence over design of the X-Bow. KTM also took inspiration from motorcycles, drawing upon a minimalist approach - pure function over form if you will. And so, the orange panelling floats above the carbon-fibre monocoque like that of a bike and the headlamps are designed to be small without compromising their effectiveness. Interior design follows suit with no dashboard as such; every dial and switch is instead neatly housed on the steering wheel. Saving further weight, KTM has moulded the X-Bow's two seats into the tub itself and covered them in more comfortable overlay.

The X-Bow is expected to start at £31,500 and begin production in spring 2008, with 1,000 built per year in KTM's production plant near Graz, Austria. The first 100 have already been sold and will feature individually numbered plaques. KTM plans to offer aerodynamic and carbon upgrade kits, alongside the boost in power for owners that want even more. We should bring you a test drive early in 2008.

Kyle Molyneux - 25 Sep 2007

2008 KTM X-Bow. Image by Shane O' Donoghue.2008 KTM X-Bow. Image by Shane O' Donoghue.2008 KTM X-Bow. Image by Shane O' Donoghue.2008 KTM X-Bow. Image by Syd Wall.2008 KTM X-Bow. Image by Syd Wall.

2008 KTM X-Bow. Image by Syd Wall.2008 KTM X-Bow. Image by Syd Wall.2008 KTM X-Bow. Image by Syd Wall.2008 KTM X-Bow. Image by Syd Wall.2008 KTM X-Bow. Image by Syd Wall.

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2008 KTM X-Bow. Image by KTM.

2008 KTM X-Bow. Image by KTM.

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