liter TFSI inline-4
turbocharger & intercooler
lbs per hp
hp per liter
(from KTM Press
Release) 2008 KTM X-Bow
Exhibited at Geneva
in limited-edition ‘KTM X-Bow Dallara’ form
purity of original concept retained
monocoque is unique feature
240 bhp 2-litre Audi
TFSI engine for spectacular performance
True open car
driving experience without roof or windshield
Start of production
set for mid-2008
The KTM X-Bow: A Success Story
specialist manufacturer KTM celebrated the world premiere of its
first-ever car at the Geneva Motor Show in 2007 when the X-Bow was
born. The company sounded out the exclusive lightweight sports car
market with an aggressive design and a spectacular concept, complete
with carbon fibre monocoque and purist, minimalist fittings.
Following an overwhelmingly positive response from sports car
enthusiasts and motoring media all around the world, the decision
was made to go ahead with further development for the series
production model of the KTM X-Bow.
Now, on the anniversary of that world premiere, KTM exhibits the
results of the continued development, showing the production-ready
version of the KTM X-Bow for the first time and in the exclusive
form of the ‘X-Bow Dallara’ which will be a limited-edition of just
It says a lot about the dedication of the KTM engineers and
testifies that the concept was so ‘right’, that the series
production model unveiled at Geneva stage looks so similar to the
original car. The original character of the KTM X-Bow is not watered
down with only a few concessions to meet technical, legal and
practical requirements. The central inlet to the air box is higher
and larger and alterations to the instrument panel are the most
The original spirit of the KTM X-Bow is retained and it is still
‘ready to race’. The first series production vehicles for customers
will be seen on the road in the late summer of 2008.
Puristic and Avant-garde: The
The most outstanding
technical feature of the KTM X-Bow is its carbon fibre monocoque.
This avant-garde material and construction technique has been highly
developed for use in Formula 1, racing cars and expensive exotic
sports cars for the road. Its use by KTM places the X-Box in a
privileged position among a small, but elite group of puristic
lightweight sports cars.
This monocoque, which is manufactured by the specialist Wethje in
Southern Germany, incorporates a crash box at the front and a solid
sandwich structured floorpan and creates a structure that delivers
safety without compromise. At the same time the sophisticated carbon
fibre material is also the key to the vehicle’s status as a
lightweight sports car. The KTM X-Bow weighs just 790 kilos.
The monocoque was developed together with the Italian racing and
sports car specialist Dallara (in whose honour the first 100
limited-edition cars are named). The Italian company also assisted
with the development and tuning of the chassis, which will be
offered in two configurations. In the series production model, the
chassis comes with a double wishbone and push rod suspension at the
As an optional extra, KTM can supply the X-Bow with a motor racing
chassis, which features altered suspension geometry and settings and
is also fitted with a pre-load adjuster so that the clearance of the
vehicle can be varied. On this chassis version, the shock absorber
elements from WP are adjustable in both rebound- and compression
The production KTM X-Bow is powered by a lightweight, compact, high
performance, high efficiency 2-litre Audi TFSI engine that is the
perfect complement to the car’s character. In contrast to the
original concept the Audi engine now boasts a 177 kW (240 bhp)
output, with maximum torque of 310 Nm. The KTM comes with a
six-speed manual transmission with close-set ratios. Thanks to its
low weight the KTM X-Bow can exceed the performance of many
supercars that are twice as powerful. It can accelerate to 100 kph
in just 3.9 seconds. The fuel consumption has been set at a
preliminary value of approx. 7,5 liter at 100km.
With its puristic concept, supercar performance, immensely capable
chassis and aerodynamics that have been purposefully tuned to
generate downforce, the KTM X-Bow is the perfect car for the racing
circuit – as well as the road.
The KTM X-Bow, with its advanced technology and radical technical
solutions is directed at enthusiasts who are seeking a genuine,
unfiltered driving experience.
To ensure that it is a road-legal car, KTM has already certified the
X-Bow for use in most European countries. With the general
ratification of the new ‘European Small Series Homologation’
regulations scheduled for first quarter of 2009, the road-legal
status will be extended to include all the countries of the European
Union. Further export markets are constantly being examined.
Concept and Series: The difference
is in the detail
Because weight kills
performance and mars the driving experience many traditional comfort
and convenience features were not present in the original KTM X-Bow
concept car. Radical construction without a roof or conventional
windshield, and doing without air-conditioning and an entertainment
system, allow a sharp focus to be kept on delivering the kind of
driving experience that can usually be found only on a motorcycle.
Now, KTM has not wavered from its original goals and only very small
modifications differentiate the prototype exhibited at the Geneva
show in 2007 from the production model exhibited in 2008.
The most obvious change is the enlargement of the central air intake
between the headrests to ensure adequate cooling for the engine
compartment during demanding track-day activities.
The new arrangement of the instruments is a more marked change.
Originally KTM had positioned all indicator and control elements and
a display on the steering wheel. However comprehensive testing
showed that the readability of the display on the steering wheel was
not ideal. So, it was decided to create a display with the most
important information at the top of the centre console – the
instruments echoing the style of those recently presented on the new
KTM RC8 superbike. This compact, lightweight instrument panel is
shower- proof and in the best racing tradition, the control buttons
themselves remain on the sports steering wheel.
Also new are the side windows, the even smaller windshield (now made
from polycarbonate) and the new seating upholstery, which has been
conceived and made by a renowned specialist. Because the seat shells
are made of carbon and rigidly fixed to the monocoque the cushioning
is available in a variety of sizes to suit drivers of different
statures. A mechanically adjustable pedal box ensures that drivers
can set-up a comfortable driving position with perfect ergonomics.
At the rear of the KTM X-Bow, the silencer now comes with two
exhaust pipes which allow finer tuning of the exhaust sound for a
more sporty sound.
The KTM X-Bow Dallara: the
At Geneva, KTM exhibits
the series production X-Bow in its most elite form – the special
limited-edition X-Bow Dallara model. KTM will celebrate the start of
production in the middle of 2008 by producing just 100 examples of
this version. These future collectors’ models have been sold out for
more than a year.
The fascinating X-Bow Dallara differs strongly both optically and
technically from the production model that follows because it
incorporates ‘as standard’ most of the factory-fitted options which
will be offered on lesser versions.
For example, the bodywork comes in carbon (rather than plastic), the
wheels have a quick release/quick locking mechanism, the racing
chassis comes with adjustable suspension and the steering wheel is
removable. A mechanical limited slip differential improves traction
and stabilises the vehicle during extreme manoeuvres. Cosmetic
design, aerodynamic, performance parts and wheel mudguards also
feature carbon finish. Special graphics are maintained in this
special series, a metal plaque in the interior presents the serial
number of the automotive work of art.
The Extras: for the Automobile and
For those X-Bow
enthusiasts who weren’t lucky enough to be among the first 100
‘Dallara-series’ customers, the standard production model KTM X-Bow
is available with the choice of many of the optional extras found on
the limited Dallara edition. Aside from the special graphics and
Dallara plaque, it is possible to order all other extras from the
Dallara series model for the production car.
KTM’s recently-launched ‘Car Configurator’ system allows prospective
buyers to view and specify the full range of extra equipment for
their vehicle. Accessible through the KTM X-Bow website, at
www.ktm-x-bow.com, the easy-to-use software gives a clear breakdown
of the options available.
While European authorities permit driving the X-Bow without a
helmet, KTM strongly recommends wearing a helmet and will present
two options – developed exclusively for X-Bow – at the Geneva Show.
The Arai closed racing helmet provides comprehensive protection and
meets the requirements of the motor sports authorities. An open face
helmet, manufactured by German company Schuberth is also offered to
give better peripheral vision when driving X-Bow on the road. Both
helmets carry X-Bow branding and will be available when the series
production models go onto the market. A range of clothing and
technical accessories for the driver are also in development.
Production and Aftersales: slim
Following the hugely
positive response to the introduction of X-Bow and growing demand
for KTM’s new quad bikes, which have recently been introduced in the
USA, KTM has decided that production of X-Bow will not be
outsourced, as originally anticipated. Instead, KTM has established
a new assembly facility specifically for the production of its
four-wheel products, near Graz in Austria.
The manufacture of the KTM X-Bow will create around new 50 jobs, as
KTM produces 500 units in 2008, before the production expands to a
maximum capacity of 1000 units annually, when the facility is fully
KTM is in the process of finalising its network of specialist
service partners to meet the aftersales requirements the X-Bow
customers. When all agreements have been finalised, KTM plans to
have a Europe-wide network of approximately 50 X-Bow service centres.
Delivery of cars is organised through the company headquarters in
Mattighofen. Customers will be given the option of collecting their
vehicle at their nearest service centre – or to have their new KTM
X-Bow personally delivered to their door.
The Next Step: Visions for
While making the final
preparations for the start of series production and the expansion of
the service network, KTM is also planning to introduce the X-Bow
onto the racing circuit. A racing model for this purpose is in
development and the X-Bow will make its first public appearance on
the race circuit during 2008. In the longer-term, KTM is considering
the organization of a one-make series competition for X-Bow.
There are also further updates planned for the X-Bow itself in the
future. A race-engineered version, which will increase power into
the region of 300 bhp, is expected at a later date. The car will
also be offered with an optional S tronic sequential double clutch
The KTM X-Bow: highlights in
Carbon Fibre Monocoque: Racing
Equipment for the Road
Carbon fibre monocoques
have been Formula 1’s safety net for many years. On the road, this
technology has always been reserved for the elite supercars in the
highest price ranges. KTM is proud to be the first company to offer
this chassis technology in a much more affordable form, and has
called upon the expertise of its development partners for this
project, Dallara, and carbon fibre specialists Wethje Group, to make
X-Bow a reality.
The Italian specialist from Varano Melegari, near Parma, Dallara has
long been acclaimed as a carbon technology expert from the
conception and design through to the production of components made
of this light, yet rigid material. Dallara currently supplies the
monocoque race-car chassis for international formula such as GP2,
Indy Car (IRL) and Formula 3.
KTM has also been able to utilise the expertise of Wethje Group to
manufacture the carbon fibre monocoque for the X-Bow. Widely
considered as one of the most experienced specialists for carbon
composite construction components, Wethje is a successful supplier
to premium segment car manufacturers, as well as to Formula 1 and
touring car teams.
The monocoque developed for the KTM X-Bow is not only extremely
robust, it is also safe, thanks to an integrated crashbox in the
nose, and yet it weighs only 75 kilos. This low weight is a crucial
factor in ensuring the vehicle’s spectacular performance.
The Engine: TFSI Technology from
To power the X-Bow, KTM
was delighted to form a partnership with Audi AG for developing the
drive unit. Audi’s 2.0-litre four-cylinder TFSI engine reflects the
X-Bow’s construction principles by featuring lightweight,
high-performance and intelligent technologies.
The engine’s outstanding attribute is its gasoline direct injection
technology, FSI. For its KTM X-Bow application, the engine also
boasts an exhaust turbocharger plus an intercooler. Thanks to FSI
technology, this engine utilizes fuel more efficiently than one with
ordinary intake manifold injection and it even consumes less fuel in
the frequently used partial load range.
With FSI technology, the fuel injection takes place at a pressure
level between 30 and 110 bar. Valves in the intake system direct the
inflowing air into a cylindrical movement, and a continuously
variable intake camshaft ensures optimal cylinder charging at any
engine speed. Two counter-rotating balancer shafts compensate the
second order inertia forces and so guarantee superior, low-vibration
The KTM X-Bow’s long-stroke, four-valves per cylinder Audi engine
delivers powerful performance with 310 Nm of torque between 2000 and
5000 rpm, while peak power (177 kW / 240 bhp) is achieved at 5500
rpm. Even more powerful engine variations in the 300-horsepower
range are planned for the X-Bow in the future.
The transversely-mounted engine and drive train package is
complemented by a VW-sourced six-speed manual transmission as
standard. Drive goes to the rear wheels via an optional mechanical
limited-slip differential. An optional S-tronic semi-automatic
transmission will also be offered at a later date.
The Chassis: Direct and Competent
The X-Bow’s driving
dynamics benefit from the car’s low centre of gravity, the sporty
bias to its front/rear weight distribution and its superior chassis,
which draws on racing technology for its basic principles. The
relatively long wheelbase (2430 mm) and wide track (1644 mm front,
1624 mm rear) provide the foundations for a comfortable ride and
Employing double wishbones, front and rear, the suspension features
components and damping elements by WP Suspension, with a pushrod
arrangement up front. Available with a choice of ‘Sport’ or ‘Racing’
set-up, the chassis can be biased for road or track use
respectively. While both options can be adjusted for traction and
pressure settings, the Dallara-designed ‘Racing’ configuration is
fitted with a pre-load adjuster for adjustment of the vehicle’s
KTM is also expanding its partnership with the famous Italian brake
manufacturer Brembo into the world of automobiles. The X-Bow’s
immensely powerful braking system consists of 305 mm ventilated
discs with 4-piston fixed callipers at the front and 262 mm solid
discs with 2-piston fixed callipers at the rear. The combination of
the vehicle’s light weight, ideal balance, low centre of gravity and
high-performance Continental tyres – 205/40 R17 front and 235/40 R18
rear – results in spectacular braking performance. When the brakes
are warm, the KTM X-Bow needs only 33.1 metres to decelerate from
100 kph to a standstill.
The Aerodynamics: Exceptional
The primary development
goal for the KTM X-Bow was not attaining extremely high top speeds,
but in optimising its driving dynamics. The sports car’s performance
is aided by an ingenious aerodynamics arrangement – the result of
many hours work in Dallara’s wind tunnel. The most important aero
element is the underbody, which is equipped with a prominent
diffusor at the rear. To make this diffusor work even more
effectively, the mounting points for the rear suspension were set as
high as possible. This enables the KTM X-Bow to achieve a phenomenal
downforce of almost 50 kg at 100 km/h and nearly 200 kg at a speed
of 200 km/h – approximately three times more than most other
The high-performance chassis plus this fantastic level of downforce
makes extreme cornering speeds possible. The X-Bow can generate a
lateral acceleration of 1.5 g. These g-forces and cornering speeds
comfortably surpass the values achieved by most street-legal sports
The aerodynamic concept posed a great challenge for the designers.
They had to ensure that sufficient engine-cooling air could be
channelled into the inlets located in the sides of the vehicle,
behind the passengers, while not upsetting the aero-balance or the
generation of downforce. This challenge was accomplished by using
special air baffles, which are installed horizontally on the sides
of the car so that the driver and passenger can also use them as
boarding aids. The radiator is also located at the rear of the
vehicle, to avoid having to install longer, heavier water hoses.
Safety: Racing Technology
The crucial component
protecting the driver and the passenger is the rigid, carbon fibre
monocoque – safety technology straight from the world of
professional motor racing. This structure is supplemented by a
crashbox in the nose of the vehicle, which fulfils stringent FIA
Formula 3 safety requirements. At the rear of the car, the exhaust
silencer is also designed to act as a crashbox; absorbing the force
of an impact to the rear of the vehicle.
The driver and passenger are protected by four-point safety belts,
which can be equipped with a fifth securing point (a crutch strap)
as an option. Twin roll bars are a distinctive feature of the
X-Bow’s striking appearance. They not only look solid, they are
skilfully integrated into the monocoque’s structure to offer the
highest level of safety.
Design: Floating Elements
Gerald Kiska’s design
studio can take credit for the shape of the X-Bow. Coming from
Salzburg, Kiska has worked closely with KTM for the past 15 years
and has been entrusted not only with the design of the motorcycles,
but also with the appearance of the company itself.
For the concept of KTM’s first automobile, Kiska incorporated many
characteristics that are more closely associated with motorcycles
than cars. Every part of the 3.67-metre long X-Bow fulfils a
function, the technology remains transparent, the form is noticeably
simple. The few, orange-coloured body panels are ‘floating
elements’, like those of motorcycles, and suggest lightness and
The deliberate minimalism is applied to all things, even the lights:
simple headlamps, embedded indicators flush with the car’s contours
and round lights at the rear, avoid superficial, showy effects.
Instead, the functional carbon structure also takes on design
duties, meaning that components which are frequently hidden in cars,
such as the silencer, suddenly serve an aesthetic purpose in
addition to their usual functions.
The Equipment: Pure and Functional
As a result of its
strong, clear concept, the KTM X-Bow can do without a lot of
elements that ordinarily add complexity and extra weight to cars.
For example, the narrow wind deflector makes an elaborate heating
system and windscreen wipers unnecessary; doors are also not
included in the design, due to the vehicle’s low profile and the
extra-low side profile which makes for easy access.
Drivers will also search in vain for a standard instrument panel.
All the information needed for driving is presented in the
multi-functional display on the steering wheel.
The seats are further examples of the X-Bow’s intelligent and simple
construction. The shells for the driver’s and passenger’s seats are
already integrated into the carbon fibre construction of the
monocoque, in a fixed position. An overlay provides firm support and
comfort. In order to provide the best ergonomics for drivers of
various heights, the X-Bow has manually adjustable pedals.
The KTM X-Bow doesn’t have a luggage compartment, but instead
features an innovative, mobile storage box for the car documents.
The equipment required by law, such as a warning triangle, first aid
kit and a tyre-repair system, are carried in storage compartments
beside the passenger’s foot well. A cover to protect the interior of
the car when parked is stowed in the same location. Two helmets can
be fixed in the passenger’s foot well.