As far as road-going roofless track cars go, the
is in a very exclusive class, kept company primarily by the Ariel Atom
and the BAC Mono
While many of these are designed to be street legal, until now owners needed to use a helmet even when driving around town.
KTM’s latest version of the X-Bow, the X-Bow GT, comes with a windshield, doors and removable soft-top roof designed to enable drivers to use the vehicle without having to wear a helmet. At the same time, the new pieces do nothing to impair the bare-knuckle driving experience or the radical design of the revolutionary track car.
In addition to these new protective elements, the engine cover also gains some gill-like ventilation slits and connects extensively with the rear bodywork. Up front, the headlamp surrounds have become narrower and new panels help give the X-Bow GT a tougher look than the X-Bow R
model on which it’s based.
Like al X-Bow variants, the latest X-Bow GT benefits from a lightweight carbon fiber monocoque chassis, a pair of Recaro bucket seats integrated in this chassis, four-point safety belts from Schroth and switchgear borrowed from Audi.
Also borrowed from Audi is the car’s engine: a turbocharged and direct-injected 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 281 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque. That may not sound like a lot but remember that the vehicle tips the scales at just 1,867 pounds.
This means the 0-62 mph run can be completed in just 4.1 seconds. Top speed is a claimed 143 mph and up to 1.5 g of lateral acceleration can be achieved using the car’s stock road tires. Those tires measure 205/40 R 17 up front and 255/35 R18 at the rear.
Drive is sent to the rear wheels only via a six-speed manual transmission and mechanical limited-slip differential.
Note, KTM recently confirmed
it was considering offering a dual-clutch transmission and more powerful five-cylinder engines, which should help widen the car's appeal even further and boost its performance at the track.