Following an overwhelmingly positive response from sports car enthusiasts and motoring media all around the world, the decision was made to go ahead with further development for the series production model of the KTM X-Bow.
Now, on the anniversary of that world premiere, KTM exhibits the results of the continued development, showing the production-ready version of the KTM X-Bow for the first time and in the exclusive form of the ‘X-Bow Dallara’ which will be a limited-edition of just 100 units.
It says a lot about the dedication of the KTM engineers and testifies that the concept was so ‘right’, that the series production model unveiled at Geneva stage looks so similar to the original car. The original character of the KTM X-Bow is not watered down with only a few concessions to meet technical, legal and practical requirements. The central inlet to the air box is higher and larger and alterations to the instrument panel are the most noticeable changes.
The original spirit of the KTM X-Bow is retained and it is still ‘ready to race’. The first series production vehicles for customers will be seen on the road in the late summer of 2008.
Puristic and Avant-garde: The Concept
The most outstanding technical feature of the KTM X-Bow is its carbon fibre monocoque. This avant-garde material and construction technique has been highly developed for use in Formula 1, racing cars and expensive exotic sports cars for the road. Its use by KTM places the X-Box in a privileged position among a small, but elite group of puristic lightweight sports cars.
This monocoque, which is manufactured by the specialist Wethje in Southern Germany, incorporates a crash box at the front and a solid sandwich structured floorpan and creates a structure that delivers safety without compromise. At the same time the sophisticated carbon fibre material is also the key to the vehicle’s status as a lightweight sports car. The KTM X-Bow weighs just 790 kilos.
The monocoque was developed together with the Italian racing and sports car specialist Dallara (in whose honour the first 100 limited-edition cars are named). The Italian company also assisted with the development and tuning of the chassis, which will be offered in two configurations. In the series production model, the chassis comes with a double wishbone and push rod suspension at the front.
As an optional extra, KTM can supply the X-Bow with a motor racing chassis, which features altered suspension geometry and settings and is also fitted with a pre-load adjuster so that the clearance of the vehicle can be varied. On this chassis version, the shock absorber elements from WP are adjustable in both rebound- and compression damping.
The production KTM X-Bow is powered by a lightweight, compact, high performance, high efficiency 2-litre Audi TFSI engine that is the perfect complement to the car’s character. In contrast to the original concept the Audi engine now boasts a 177 kW (240 bhp) output, with maximum torque of 310 Nm. The KTM comes with a six-speed manual transmission with close-set ratios. Thanks to its low weight the KTM X-Bow can exceed the performance of many supercars that are twice as powerful. It can accelerate to 100 kph in just 3.9 seconds. The fuel consumption has been set at a preliminary value of approx. 7,5 liter at 100km.
With its puristic concept, supercar performance, immensely capable chassis and aerodynamics that have been purposefully tuned to generate downforce, the KTM X-Bow is the perfect car for the racing circuit – as well as the road.
The KTM X-Bow, with its advanced technology and radical technical solutions is directed at enthusiasts who are seeking a genuine, unfiltered driving experience.
To ensure that it is a road-legal car, KTM has already certified the X-Bow for use in most European countries. With the general ratification of the new ‘European Small Series Homologation’ regulations scheduled for first quarter of 2009, the road-legal status will be extended to include all the countries of the European Union. Further export markets are constantly being examined.
Concept and Series: The difference is in the detail
Because weight kills performance and mars the driving experience many traditional comfort and convenience features were not present in the original KTM X-Bow concept car. Radical construction without a roof or conventional windshield, and doing without air-conditioning and an entertainment system, allow a sharp focus to be kept on delivering the kind of driving experience that can usually be found only on a motorcycle.
Now, KTM has not wavered from its original goals and only very small modifications differentiate the prototype exhibited at the Geneva show in 2007 from the production model exhibited in 2008.
The most obvious change is the enlargement of the central air intake between the headrests to ensure adequate cooling for the engine compartment during demanding track-day activities.
The new arrangement of the instruments is a more marked change. Originally KTM had positioned all indicator and control elements and a display on the steering wheel. However comprehensive testing showed that the readability of the display on the steering wheel was not ideal. So, it was decided to create a display with the most important information at the top of the centre console – the instruments echoing the style of those recently presented on the new KTM RC8 superbike. This compact, lightweight instrument panel is shower- proof and in the best racing tradition, the control buttons themselves remain on the sports steering wheel.
Also new are the side windows, the even smaller windshield (now made from polycarbonate) and the new seating upholstery, which has been conceived and made by a renowned specialist. Because the seat shells are made of carbon and rigidly fixed to the monocoque the cushioning is available in a variety of sizes to suit drivers of different statures. A mechanically adjustable pedal box ensures that drivers can set-up a comfortable driving position with perfect ergonomics.
At the rear of the KTM X-Bow, the silencer now comes with two exhaust pipes which allow finer tuning of the exhaust sound for a more sporty sound.
The KTM X-Bow Dallara: the limited-edition beauty
At Geneva, KTM exhibits the series production X-Bow in its most elite form – the special limited-edition X-Bow Dallara model. KTM will celebrate the start of production in the middle of 2008 by producing just 100 examples of this version. These future collectors’ models have been sold out for more than a year.
The fascinating X-Bow Dallara differs strongly both optically and technically from the production model that follows because it incorporates ‘as standard’ most of the factory-fitted options which will be offered on lesser versions.
For example, the bodywork comes in carbon (rather than plastic), the wheels have a quick release/quick locking mechanism, the racing chassis comes with adjustable suspension and the steering wheel is removable. A mechanical limited slip differential improves traction and stabilises the vehicle during extreme manoeuvres. Cosmetic design, aerodynamic, performance parts and wheel mudguards also feature carbon finish. Special graphics are maintained in this special series, a metal plaque in the interior presents the serial number of the automotive work of art.
The Extras: for the Automobile and the Driver
For those X-Bow enthusiasts who weren’t lucky enough to be among the first 100 ‘Dallara-series’ customers, the standard production model KTM X-Bow is available with the choice of many of the optional extras found on the limited Dallara edition. Aside from the special graphics and Dallara plaque, it is possible to order all other extras from the Dallara series model for the production car.
KTM’s recently-launched ‘Car Configurator’ system allows prospective buyers to view and specify the full range of extra equipment for their vehicle. Accessible through the KTM X-Bow website, at www.ktm-x-bow.com, the easy-to-use software gives a clear breakdown of the options available.
While European authorities permit driving the X-Bow without a helmet, KTM strongly recommends wearing a helmet and will present two options – developed exclusively for X-Bow – at the Geneva Show. The Arai closed racing helmet provides comprehensive protection and meets the requirements of the motor sports authorities. An open face helmet, manufactured by German company Schuberth is also offered to give better peripheral vision when driving X-Bow on the road. Both helmets carry X-Bow branding and will be available when the series production models go onto the market. A range of clothing and technical accessories for the driver are also in development.
Production and Aftersales: slim and efficient
Following the hugely positive response to the introduction of X-Bow and growing demand for KTM’s new quad bikes, which have recently been introduced in the USA, KTM has decided that production of X-Bow will not be outsourced, as originally anticipated. Instead, KTM has established a new assembly facility specifically for the production of its four-wheel products, near Graz in Austria.
The manufacture of the KTM X-Bow will create around new 50 jobs, as KTM produces 500 units in 2008, before the production expands to a maximum capacity of 1000 units annually, when the facility is fully operational.
KTM is in the process of finalising its network of specialist service partners to meet the aftersales requirements the X-Bow customers. When all agreements have been finalised, KTM plans to have a Europe-wide network of approximately 50 X-Bow service centres.
Delivery of cars is organised through the company headquarters in Mattighofen. Customers will be given the option of collecting their vehicle at their nearest service centre – or to have their new KTM X-Bow personally delivered to their door.
The Next Step: Visions for Tomorrow
While making the final preparations for the start of series production and the expansion of the service network, KTM is also planning to introduce the X-Bow onto the racing circuit. A racing model for this purpose is in development and the X-Bow will make its first public appearance on the race circuit during 2008. In the longer-term, KTM is considering the organization of a one-make series competition for X-Bow.
There are also further updates planned for the X-Bow itself in the future. A race-engineered version, which will increase power into the region of 300 bhp, is expected at a later date. The car will also be offered with an optional S tronic sequential double clutch semi-automatic gearbox.