hp & approx 300 hp
lbs & approx 5.1 lbs per hp
under 4 seconds
(from KTM Press
Release) KTM – Europe’s second biggest motorcycle
manufacturer – will introduce the first ever car in the company’s
50-year history: the X-Bow. The background for this step can be
found in the dynamic development of the company. An annual growth
rate of 21 percent in sales and 25 percent in turnover has been
achieved since the new start-up of the motorcycle production in the
year 1992. The company’s output in 1992 was 6000 motorcycles with
160 employees while in the last financial year production was 84,421
motorcycles with 1697 employees.
Since the beginning of the new century, KTM, as the world market
leader in the offroad segment has successively expanded its range of
business activities into the street segment. The first step into the
automotive sector is therefore a logical extension of this strategy.
With the X-Bow, KTM can offer all those who do not have a motorcycle
license a driving experience that is typical for the brand.
The Philosophy: Ready to Race
As different as cars and
motorcycles may be, KTM has managed to transfer its development
principles from two wheels to a sports car in every way. In this way
the unique driving experience and the spectacular merits of the
drive are not just dependent on the performance of the engine. Just
as they have managed to do with motorcycles, the KTM developers have
kept the weight of the vehicle extremely light by using the latest
materials, an intelligent construction and a purist styling. The car
will weigh only about 700 kg.
The interaction between the sophisticated aerodynamic concept and a
motor sports-oriented chassis makes the X-Bow clearly superior to a
far higher performance sports car. Thanks to its open form of
construction, the just 70mm high windshield and the free standing
wheels after the style of a Formula racing car, it is not only the
appearance, but also the driving experience that is immediately
evident as entirely unique.
Speed from every perspective: the
dynamic, a personality from every angle: the design of the KTM X-Bow
originates unmistakably from the house of Kiska. Austria’s biggest
design studio has had close links to KTM for almost 15 years and is
not only responsible for the design of the motorcycles, but also for
the corporate image of the company. The design of a lightweight
sports car is where passion and challenge meet, resulting in a
product that fits seamlessly into the KTM brand family.
The stylish hallmark of the X-Bow is its light-footed, optical
presence evoked by the apparent floating panels of the bodywork, the
rangy wheels and the transparent area that allows a perspective of
the vehicle technology, which for example makes parts of the
suspension and damping visible. The technical elegance of the carbon
chassis has been used as a design element for the graphic concept.
The two outer mirrors which are fixed to double guided stays are
symbolic of the lightweight construction.
The purist attitude of the X-Bow also finds its expression in the
striking headlights and rear lights. The rear is dominated by a
central silencer and a powerful diffuser which is an indication of
the level of painstaking work on the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
And as the first ever KTM sports car, the X-Bow naturally comes in
the Mattighofen fashion colours: black and orange.
Cooperation with Dallara: The
carbon fibre monocoque
The core of the KTM
X-Bow is the sophisticated carbon fibre monocoque. This high-tech
solution was until now reserved for use in top class motor sport and
for elite street sports cars. Through a new construction- and
production process developed together with the Italian development
partner, the tradition-rich racing car specialist Dallara, this
technology can now be offered in a significantly cheaper version.
The KTM X-Bow therefore takes on the role of a forerunner that can
use new insights and production processes to its benefit.
These advantages are impressive everywhere: With an extremely light
weight of around 70 kg, the chassis of the X-Bow offers a maximum
amount of rigidity and safety. A crash box in the front nose of the
monocoque absorbs collision energy, while the roll bars are
integrated into the structure.
An options kit is available on request which increases the
recognized safety levels to that of the motor sports authorities FIA:
this includes having additional struts mounted at already designated
Intelligent Turbo Power
KTM was able to secure
Audi AG as a partner for the engine, which when delivered from the
company in Ingolstadt Germany, is a congenial extension for the slim
concepts of the KTM X-Bow. The four cylinder engine completely made
of aluminium is light, compact and includes the most modern engine
technology: four valve technology, FSI direct fuel injection, high
pressure injection valves, turbo charge, a smooth, adjustable intake
camshaft and two balancer shafts.
With this engine, the basic version of the KTM X-Bow will achieve
220 hp. An additional version will have a performance in the area of
300 hp at its disposal. First simulations for the KTM X-Bow in any
case demonstrate its superior characteristics; the acceleration to
100kph should be comfortably under four seconds.
The transmission versions also come from Audi AG. A manual six-gear
transmission comes with the series production, while an optional DSG-transmission
will also be offered.
Motor sports for the highway
Apart from the optimal
distribution of weight with the engine mounted between the axles, a
guarantee of high speeds in the corners comes from the chassis’ high
quality suspension and damping elements. In this area KTM can call
upon competence in its own company: the KTM Netherlands subsidiary
White Power has at its disposal chassis experts for both on road
vehicles and motor sports.
The brakes also come from the best possible source: KTM has had a
long-term and fruitful partnership with the Italian specialists
And for further improvements in the traction, KTM will offer a
limited slip differential for the rear axle. This component part is
particularly targeted at drivers who want to engage in certain
activities on racing circuits.
Purism without compromise
The lightweight concept
also demands some limitations. This is why the X-Bow deliberately
does away with many comfort features which, because with their
weight and the space need for construction have a negative effect on
the performance of the vehicle. These include such features as a
sound system and an air conditioner.
On the other hand, because of the X-Bow’s concept, it is not
dependent on many weighty elements. Its lightweight makes power
steering redundant; the narrow windscreen requires neither
windscreen washers nor blowers; the sloping lines of the side of the
vehicle and the seat height make it possible to get into the car
without having a door; and lastly the carbon chassis together with
the four-point safety belt create a safety package that makes
It was also a conscious decision to reject any electronic driving
aids. The KTM X-Bow is designed as a piece of high-tech sports
equipment for experienced customers who prefer a filter less driving
By doing away with the
roof, both the driver and passenger of the KTM X-Bow are exposed to
the elements in a similar way to that of a motorcycle. For this
reason a decision was taken concerning an accessories program that
has parallels with the world of motorcycles.
Special overalls for use with the KTM X-Bow have been developed
together with the northern Italian clothing experts Dainese. These
garments will take over some of the comfort functions that are
usually available with a vehicle with a roof – for example
entertainment and communication systems. These functions are
directly integrated into the clothing, which will also naturally
serve as protection against cold and windy weather.
An important part of the custom-made driver equipment will be a
helmet specially designed for this project. Wearing of the helmet is
not required by law but is recommended by KTM. In this way the X-Bow
also represents a bridge to a motorcycle. Special storage space is
also provided for these two helmets.
A light, easy to install tarpaulin to cover the interior of the car
will also be available.
Premiere in Geneva
This lightweight sports
car with innovative technology will make its first public appearance
at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2007. In the same year, 100 units
of the comprehensive pre-series will be manufactured in-house by
Italian racing car specialists Dallara and sold by KTM. The price
for the basic version will be around EURO 40,000.
Dependent on the reaction to the presentation of the car and the
success of the pre-series, KTM plans further small series
productions of this car. This production will take place in Austria
and begin in the year 2008. KTM is working on the basis of a
projected 500 units per year for this small series production.
The decision concerning this small series production will be taken
at the end of April 2007. If it is positive, KTM will establish a
small but efficient sales structure up to the time of the
commencement of production at the end of 2008. It is planned to have
a dealer network of up to two qualified sales establishments per
country. Where these will be located depends, not the least on the
planned European-wide conformity for the norms of small series
homologation. According to the present situation, sales offices for
the X-Bow could be considered for the following countries: Germany,
Finland, Greece, Britain, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and