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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.