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KTM X-Bow vs BMW M4

What's the difference?


2018 price


$147,900 - $294,990

2022 price


2018 KTM X-Bow
2022 BMW M4
Safety Rating

Engine Type

Turbo 6, 3.0L
Fuel Type

Premium Unleaded Petrol
Fuel Efficiency

10.4L/100km (combined)

  • Even a light sprinkling of rain will leave you in despair
  • Safety kit non-existent
  • An expensive toy

  • Aggressive styling
  • Expensive options
  • Short warranty
2018 KTM X-Bow Summary

I know what you're thinking: "How is this thing legal?" And to be honest, somewhere between a rock flung from the tyre of a passing car colliding with my forehead like it had been fired from a pistol, and the pouring rain lashing my exposed face like a damp cat-o'-nine-tails, I'd begun wondering the same thing.

The answer is barely. The product of a years-long fight to overcome our import rules, this madhouse KTM X-Bow R is now finally free to roam Australian roads and racetracks - though, with sales capped at 25 per year to comply with the Specialist Enthusiast Vehicle Scheme.

The price? A slightly eye-watering $169,990. That's quite a lot, and places the X-Bow R miles above its closest lightweight, carbon fibre-tubbed competitor, the Alfa Romeo 4C ($89,000).

But then, the KTM X-Bow R is unlike anything else on the road today. Part super bike, part open-wheeler and all mobile madness, the 'Crossbow' is fast, furious and completely insane.

Expect no doors, no windscreen, no roof. On-board entertainment is limited to the turbo whistling behind your head, the car's standard safety list is as barren as the interior and the climate control is dependent on the temperature of the wind that's smashing into your exposed face.

And we couldn't wait to take it for a spin.

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2022 BMW M4 Summary

Few cars carry the burden of expectation more than the BMW M3 – and, by association – the two-door versions latterly rebadged M4. Porsche 911 definitely. Mazda MX-5 probably. Ford Mustang maybe. Icons all.

Since the arrival of the left-hand-drive-only – thus it never officially came to Australia – E30 3 Series two-door original in 1986, it’s become the benchmark for which all others follow, and regular finalist in any given ‘greatest sports car of all time' listings.

Except… it hasn’t always turned out that way.

After the visceral E30 M3, it’s been a rollercoaster ride of disappointment and elation: by 1992’s patchy E36 arch enemies Audi and Mercedes-Benz were chiming in, only to be swept aside by the exquisite E46 M3 from 2000. But then its 2007 E90 and 2014 F80 successors both missed their marks for reasons we’ll go into later, leaving us with 2021’s G82/3 generation.

Does the latest two-door M-car return to form? We take a look at the M4 convertible, which simultaneously rediscovers the fabric roof and adopts all-wheel drive (AWD) for the first time.

Glorified blow dryer or glorious mind blower? Let’s see.

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Deep dive comparison

2018 KTM X-Bow 2022 BMW M4

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