The KTM X-Bow is about to get crazier than ever.
Though the brand is more well-known for building motorcycles, the KTM X-Bow (pronounced crossbow) is one of the most outrageous track-focused cars available.
The original X-Bow came to the United States back in 2018, and now we could be getting a more extreme version. KTM was recently spotted testing what our spy photographers say will be a road-legal version of the X-Bow GTX, a $270,000 track-only special with a proper roof and windshield.
This road-going version will be dubbed the X-Bow GT-XR and will use the same mid-mounted 2.5-liter turbocharged five-cylinder engine as the GTX, sourced from the Audi RS3 and TT RS but tuned by Audi specialists ABT. We now have our first look at the GT-XR, as not only have our spied captured photos of prototypes on the Nurburgring, but KTM has shown us a full-frontal image of the vehicle.
In the GT2 racing version, the Audi-sourced five-pot delivers 600 horsepower. With no homologation requirements to fulfill on the street version, we see no reason why it can't deliver a similar output. Power will go out to the rear wheels only through a seven-speed direct shift gearbox, as a traditional manual would likely be too slow and too hairy for such a potent, lightweight vehicle.
Through extensive use of carbon fiber, the GT2 version only weighs 2,310 pounds. We expect the GT-XR to gain several pounds to make it street-legal, but it will still be incredibly light with an excellent power-to-weight ratio.
Though it will be street-legal, we can't imagine the X-Bow GT-XR will make a compelling daily driver. In lieu of traditional doors, the GT-XR has a glass canopy that opens, allowing occupants to hop inside. Further limiting the comfort, the X-Bow will likely include a six-point racing harness, as a traditional three-point safety belt would leave the driver and passenger flopping around in the corners.
Whether or not KTM will add creature comforts like infotainment or air conditioning is currently unknown. We know that talking about items like air conditioning on a track-focused car seems a bit silly, but would you want to drive around on a 90-degree day without it? Even if it is just to the track?
Then there's a more pressing issue of whether this version of the X-Bow will be available in the US at all. Vehicles like the Polaris Slingshot can get around the strict crash test regulations because they only have three wheels and count as a motorcycle. Since the X-Bow has four wheels, it's treated like a car and needs to have airbags and a crash structure. Though it may be street-legal in other countries, there's a strong chance it won't be here in the US.
With KTM testing a lightly disguised test mule on the Nurburgring, we imagine a reveal is imminent.