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Some of the Sexiest Cars we Can't Afford
There are automakers and then there are automakers. There are the Chevrolets and Toyotas of the world that offer huge model ranges and sell thousands upon thousands of vehicles each year and then there are specialty boutique brands.
KTM has thoroughly improved the X-Bow with its new GT model – beyond just adding some glass and doors to the street-legal race car.
Last June, KTM hinted that it would be adding doors, windows and a windshield to its X-Bow in time for the 2013 Geneva Motor Show. The Austrian-based company kept its promise, revealing the X-Bow GT ahead of its official unveiling early next month.
When there’s snow and ice, there’s always time to have some fun. Out in Heteren, a village in Gelderland, Netherlands, a trio of KTM creations took to the snow and ice to have a little “playtime” as they called it.
Accompanied by a motorcycle and ATV, this KTM X-Bow took to the ice as if in its second home. For those that are unaware, the X-Bow is an ultra-lightweight sports car by Austrian motorcycle manufacturer KTM and is powered by a 2.0L turbocharged, four-cylinder Audi powerplant. Horsepower ranges from 237-hp to 300-hp depending on the year the X-Bow was manufactured.
Now this is exactly what cars like the X-Bow were made for – fun.
Check out the video after the break.
Austrian-based KTM, best known for producing motorcycles (not to mention the lightweight X-Bow racer), has teamed up with the Austrian Institute of Technology to create an electric vehicle called the E3W.
The E3W (Electric 3-Wheeler) can carry two passengers for up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) using a 15kW motor and lithium-ion battery, not to mention a body that is primarily built of plastic. As a result, the E3W weighs just 500 kilograms (1,102 pounds).
The E3W also features Lamborghini-type doors that open to allow the two-seater to fit in small parking spaces. KTM hopes to build 50,000 of the E3W units in 2013. The price has not been confirmed for the vehicle, but estimates fall somewhere in the $7,000- $11,500 range.
GALLERY: KTM E3W
KTM has expanded their X-Bow line of models by adding the newly released X-Bow R alongside their current X-Bow Clubsport and X-Bow Street models. KTM describes the X-Bow R as a result of “further development” of their sports car, outfitting it with an Audi-sourced 2.0L TFSI power plant that pushes out 300-hp and 295 ft-lbs of torque – a drastic increase from the X-Bow’s 237-hp.
The X-Bow R doesn’t just see improvements in the powertrain department. Further improvements have been made all around to support the new motor and its increased performance. In addition, the Audi 2.0L TFSI receives several enhancements to bring horsepower to 300-hp compared to the 272-hp in standard trim. KTM outfits it with a bigger turbo and upgrades the fuel system and ECU accordingly.
So for those with $83,000 lying around, the X-Bow R will get you a carbon fiber racing monococque, a mechanical limited slip differential, aluminum rear diffuser, adjustable pedals, adjustable and removal steering wheel, sport suspension (with both rebound and compression damping adjustability), keyless go system, painted rims, 4-point harness and paint work unique to the R model.
GALLERY: KTM X-Bow R
Trade in your Ariel Atom and sell-off the Lotus 2-Eleven because you’re going to need to put together some serious funny money to pick up the latest track special: the KTM X-Bow.
Priced at $88,500 it’s certainly not cheap. And that doesn’t even include the engine, an Audi sourced 2.0T block that KTM estimates will run you an additional $7,900.
If your track fantasies include an exotic car budget, then you can upgrade to the Clubsport model for $103,500, the Superlight for $134,500 and the GT4 for $139,000. Those are huge dollar amounts, but you’re guaranteed to be the star at your local lapping day.
The KTM X-Bow, perhaps the only car more bonkers than the Ariel Atom, will finally be coming to the United States, and like other formerly forbidden fruit, a bit of trickery is required to get the car legally imported.
While KTM will build the cars to the customers specifications, the vehicle must be shipped and sold without any kind of drivetrain, to allow for registration as a “kit car”. British Racing Group, a Pennsylvania based company, will supply you with the necessary Audi 2.0T drivetrain, but no price was given for the component. Despite putting out a tame-sounding 240 horsepower, the X-Bow is good for a sub-4 second 0-60 mph sprint, is capable of pulling 1.5g on the skidpad and will stop from 60-0 mph in only 99 feet. And you get to wear a cool helmet while you drive it!
Abarth’s rumored mid-engine sports car will apparently use the KTM X-Bow as a starting point, replacing the X-Bow’s Volkswagen mill with a Fiat Multi-Air engine good for 180 horsepower.
The terms of the deal would see Abarth purchase the rolling chassis from KTM and install their own engines. It’s not yet known if the Abarth would retain the radical styling of the X-Bow or if it will retain actual bodywork. Naturally, the car will be extremely limited production, and have a sticker price of roughly $80,000 when it debuts in 2013.
[Source: Road and Track]
The KTM X-Bow is already targeted at the .01% of the population who desires the ultimate in trackday-nutcase transportation. For that sub-segment of masochists who desire even more thrills, there’s the newly released X-Bow R.
Powered by a 300-horsepower Audi S3 engine, the four-cylinder turbo powerplant will be positioned lower in the car to provide a better balanced chassis. Two variants will be offered, a Sport version that’s road legal, and a Race model that can only be driven on the track.
KTM has yet to announce specific details, but said that current X-Bow owners will be given the chance to upgrade their current car to R specification.
The rumored Abarth sports car, based on KTM’s X-Bow trackday car could end up taking a very different form by reviving the legendary Lancia Stratos nameplate.
On the same day that rumors of a KTM-based Abarth surfaced, spy photos of a new car that looks nearly identical to the Stratos appeared on various blogs, showing the car testing at a Fiat facility in Europe.
While there is some doubt as to the authenticity of the photos, a revised Stratos is not too much of a stretch. Body panels can easily be fitted around an X-Bow chassis, and news that Fiat will jettison the X-Bow’s Volkswagen TSFI powerplant in favour of a Multiair 1.8L four cylinder lend credence to the idea. If Fiat were truly interested in an authentic Stratos, the engine would have to be a V6, but if the vehicle were badged as an Abarth, this oversight could be justified.
[Source: World Car Fans]
Along with a new stand-alone coupe and convertible, Fiat sub-brand Abarth will look to expand its lineup of original models with a Lotus Elise rival based on the KTM X-Bow (above). If you’re not familiar with KTM or the X-Bow, the company is best known for building motorcycles and the X-Bow was a limited project to build a track car along the lines of the Ariel Atom or Lotus 2-Eleven.
A report by AutoExpress says sources inside the Italian automaker have confirmed the model and have already begun work on a prototype using an X-Bow carbon fiber chassis. The VW-sourced 2.0 TFSI engine would, however, be tossed in favor of a Fiat 1.8-liter four cylinder featuring a turbocharger and the Italian automaker’s MultiAir technology. It’s also expected to get Abarth/Fiat styling and weigh a good chunk more than the 1,750 lbs that the stripped-down K-Bow does.
Interestingly, Abarth reportedly looked at sourcing the Elise chassis from Lotus for the project, but the platform was deemed to be too old and too expensive.
Only a small number (around 2,000) versions of this new Abarth model will be built, retailing for £42,000 to £50,000, ($65,000 to $78,000). Yikes!
If in fact the Abarth X-Bow does make it to market, look for a 2013 launch date.