European test drive while waiting for the JDM version of the KTM X-Bow.
Identity : After dominating the world of Motocross, KTM moves on to another challenge: a road-legal racing car made of pure adrenalin and performance. An orange and black UFO has arrived!
Headlines : 4 Cylinder 2 Liter Turbo engine from Audi (TFSi) 240 hp, 310 3.73m long, weighs 790kg (1740lbs) 6 speeds manual gearbox 0 to 100 km/h : 3.9s Top speed : 220 km/h , 137 mph (limited) Price : 54 836 €.
Design : The X-Bow (Crossbow) doesn’t look like anything you’ve seen. It features full carbon chassis which strikes at first look, and barely covered here and there by orange (KTM’s main color), and white or black body panels. Even though the result is not particularly good looking, it remains impressive and will turn countless heads in the streets. The KTM X-Bow is equipped with the strict minimum but the overall quality feel is excellent. From a company specialized in 2 wheelers (except quad bikes), that is very impressive.
Interior : No radio, air conditioner or anything of that sort. Just carbon fiber, an ultra lightweight bucket seat and most of all, a super high tech looking steering wheel (which can be taken off) with LCD dashboard to make you feel like in a F1. Once the pedals are set up to your liking, you’re ready to go! There's no such thing as comfort in the X-Bow, we’re at the level of a go-kart and that’s exactly what’s great about it! No windshield means you’ll need to wear a helmet or, at least glasses if you drive downtown.
On the road : A good part of the 4 cylinder engine comes from its turbo and, thanks to a very low weight, performance is way beyond normal from “just” 240 horsepower. The grip level is outstanding, cornering, handling and braking are just unbelievable for a car rocking standard plates. The X-Bow doesn’t need a driver, but a pilot…and a pretty good one because the rear tends to get a little light when the turbo kicks in, the result is some serious oversteer, especially if you overestimate your skills at the first corner.
Final words : The X-Bow could be placed between a Catheram CSR 200 and an Ariel Atom. It's literally unbeatable in the corners and on the straights, the 200kg of downforce produced by the aero package help you keeping control of everything.
Sold around 55 thousand Euros, the X-Bow is a great deal for any racing enthusiast and drivers wishing to have some fun on a racing circuit. Although this KTM is street-legal, the track is it’s real home.
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