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KTM X-Bow R 2017 | new car sales price

Following a four-year struggle with local regulations, motorcycle specialist KTM has joined forces with Lotus importer Sydney Sports Cars (SSC) to import 25 of its X-Bow two-seater sports cars per year.

The X-Bow will set buyers back a hefty $169,990 before on-roads, and if it does sell its full quota of 25 vehicles per year, it would represent 25 per cent of the X-Bow’s total annual production.

Retailing will take place in two locations – the SSC store in the suburb of Artamon, and in Brisbane through sports car retailer Motorline, and each example will be covered by a two-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

Originally, the X-Bow was supposed to come to Australia in 2011, but due to regulations under the Specialist and Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme (SEVS) including crash testing, the project stalled.

It’s not about dollars and cents. It’s about the lifestyle we get to enjoy along with our customers.

KTM has sold 1000 X-Bows since they first went on sale globally in 2007, and despite the entry-level R being the only one of three variants capable of being registered Down Under, the brand is also considering the more road-friendly GT.

KTM cars Australia COO Richard Gibbs said that he and partner Lee Knappett, the founder of SSC, had spent five years trying to import KTM.

“We started working with KTM even before we became a Lotus dealer,” he said. “Even way back then, five years ago, we recognised that this car fits in with the lifestyle business that we’re in. We’re as invested in their lifestyle as much as they are.

“If you broke it down to pure dollars and cents, then people would ask why are you doing this. It’s not about dollars and cents. It’s about the lifestyle we get to enjoy along with our customers.”

For approval, KTM had to crash test a vehicle, which they did in Germany, as well as adding a seatbelt warning light and raising ride height from 90mm to 100mm.

“There is certain criteria to meet before the car can sit the SEVS scheme, then one it’s on the SEVS register, it’s up to us to go and prove compliance to all the ADRs that we have to comply with,” said Mr Knappett.

“We’ve met all of these requirements, and this car has full European approval, including the more recognised ECE approvals. Unfortunately a couple of the ADRS didn’t match up with the ECEs, even though they are closely aligned, so we went ahead and did crash testing to ADR specifications.”

The X-Bow is built around a tub and body panels made from carbon-fibre with adjustable A-arm suspension on all four corners.

It is roofless with a small deflector screen acting as a windshield, and SSC will provide two Bluetooth-equipped helmets to go with the vehicle. There is no specific storage space anywhere.

Front suspension is operated via a rocker arm set-up, while a coil-over design is employed at the rear.

Powering the X-Bow is a mid-mounted, Audi-sourced 220kW/400Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine.

Stopping power comes from Brembo brakes in all four wheels, measuring 17 inches at the front and 18-inch at the back, wrapped in Michelin Super Sport tyres.

Powering the X-Bow is a mid-mounted, Audi-sourced 220kW/400Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine that sends the 790kg pocket rocket from 0-100km/h in 3.9 seconds.

It is mated to a VW Group-sourced six-speed manual gearbox with limited-slip differential and short-shift gear level, with a Hollinger six-speed sequential transmission as an option. Fuel consumption is rated at 8.3 litres per 100km.

Inside the 'cabin' are two fixed seats with Recaro padding that is available in different thicknesses, a detachable and adjustable steering wheel, and four-point fixed harnesses for both occupants.

Dash readings include a digital speedometer, gear position display and engine parameters, as well as a  lap time recorder.

Options include air-conditioning and an entertainment system.

2017 KTM X-Bow R list pricing

KTM X-Bow R - $169,990

Can the KTM X-Bow justify its $169,990 pricetag? Tell us what you think in the comments below.