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KTM X-Bow targets Australia

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Aussies can now order this limited edition Lotus-sized sports car.
Aussies can now order this limited edition Lotus-sized sports car.

However, there are no pre-paid orders yet from Australia for the X-Bow (pronounced crossbow), due to be launched internationally in June/July.

The Lotus-sized sports car was to be a limited-edition model for track and road use, but KTM spokesman Peter Schonlaub said international interest prompted them to launch with a full production run.

"Australian customers are able to order the car, but at the moment only as a track car, because the Australian regulations for street homologation are currently under examination by KTM," Schonlaub said.

The X-Bow will cost about $78,000, plus taxes and delivery charges.

"We are lucky to have more than 2000 reservations; 300 of them have already paid a deposit," he said.

Twenty per cent of these pre-paid orders come from Austria, 80 per cent are international (mainly European) customers.

"We have also been contacted by Australian customers, but up to date there is no pre-paid order from your country," he said.

Interested Australian buyers can't test drive one at a dealership, but will have to register an expression of interest directly to KTM online.

Before its international launch, KTM Sportcar GmbH, the company's racing arm, will enter two X-Bow track cars in this year's GT4 European Cup, competing in the newly-created Sport Lights class.

The first race will be held in Silverstone on April 20.

"At the moment, there are no plans to enter a race competition outside of Europe," Schonlaub said.

The rear-wheel-drive X-Bow is powered by Audi's award-winning turbocharged direct injection 1984cc four-cylinder petrol engine which develops 162kW/300Nm. When married to a six-speed gearbox it propels the X-bow from 0-100km/h in 3.9sec.

It comes with a Formula One-style racing steering wheel that can be removed via a quick-release mechanism to simplify getting in and out of the car.

The tiny 3.6m X-Bow sits only 1.1m tall with a double-wishbone suspension system and sophisticated pushrod damping system on the front axle.

It has no roof, doors, boot or windscreen and features a lightweight carbonfibre monocoque. All up, it weighs only 700kg.

Minimalist motorcycle styling also includes simple headlamps and embedded indicators flush with the cars contours.

And, like motorcycles, it has different rubber front to back. It is shod with 205/40 R17 tyres up front and 235/40 R18 on the rear.

Inside, the instruments are located on the hub of the steering wheel, the seat shells are integrated into the monocoque and the pedals are manually adjustable.

The KTM X-Bow doesn't have a luggage compartment, but it does feature a mobile storage box beside the passengers foot well for a first-aid kit, tyre-fit system and cover.

Two helmets can be fixed in the passenger's legroom.

To go racing, KTM replaced the aluminium rollover bars with steel, added extra layers of zylon fibre to the flanks of the monocoque to prevent penetration of sharp objects, added a racing silencer, extended the wheel covers, added protection between the front and rear wheels, and race-tuned the chassis.

KTM had been developing a special line of weather and crash protection clothing and helmets for the X-Bow in partnership with Italian motorcycle apparel company Dainese.

However, Schonlaub said the plans had changed.

"The official X-Bow gear will now feature two helmets, a full-face racing helmet supplied by Arai and a half-face street helmet supplied by Schuberth – both with special X-Bow design and special X-Bow features," he said.

"The garment will be part of the KTM Power Wear (known for its motorcycle stuff), but our experts are still developing the right products."

He said it was too early for final prices.

KTM is better known for its four- and two-stroke off-road bikes which have won worldwide enduro, motocross, supermoto and supercross championships.

In more recent years KTM has branched into road bikes and entered the 125cc and 250cc motorcycle grand prix championships.

Last year, KTM was the fourth highest off-road motorcycle company in Australia with 5521 sales.




Price: $80,000-$90,000

Engine: inline, 4-valve, 1984cc 4-cylinder, with direct fuel injection system, turbocharger and intercooler

Power: 162kW @ 5900rpm

Torque: 300Nm @ 2200-4000rpm

Bore X stroke: 82.5 x 92.8mm

Emissions: Euro 4

Transmission: rear-wheel-drive with mechanical slip differential, 6-speed-manual

Kerb weight: 700kg

Dimensions (MM): 3670 (l), 1870 (w), 1160 (h), 2430 (wheelbase)

Track (MM): 1644 (front), 1624 (rear)

Turning circle: 10.8m

Fuel: 35-litre tank

Brakes: 305mm discs with 4-piston-calipers (front); 262mm disc with 2-piston-caliper (rear)

Tyres: 205/40 R17 (front), 235/40 R18 (rear)0-100KM/H: 3.91sec

Top speed: 217km/h


Mark Hinchliffe
Contributing Journalist
Mark Hinchliffe is a former CarsGuide contributor and News Limited journalist, where he used his automotive expertise to specialise in motorcycle news and reviews.
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