Car news

01 March 2013

KTM adds a screen to the X-Bow

Nice idea. But does the all(ish)-weather prototype look any good?
Car image

KTM, which clearly knows how to make stuff look the fighty sort of awesome, has stuck a screen on its part insect, part track thing supercar. And doesn't it look... divisive?

Yep, this is the new all-weather X-Bow GT. And rather a lot of the mid-engined, carbon paneled, pushrod suspended track car's been changed to accommodate the new glassware. To comply with European homologation, KTM's had to add new electronic functions like a heater/de-icer and wash/wipe system after gluing the wrap-around screen (and hinged side windows) via a carbon port to the monocoque.

Its designer, Gerald Kiska told TopGear: "[Adding a screen] is not rocket science, but we had some difficulties fitting in all the electronics. This is not a full roof - it's a coming-home device to keep you dry when you return from the track. Think of it like an old British roadster. [The X-Bow] is still an open car, and will remain one forever. There's very little air volume, and we have no space to mount a big blower [for a fully-closed top] and deal with the air density."

There's been a raft of other improvements, too. While the X-Bow uses the same engine, it's got revised engine management like the X-Bow R, sharing that car's 19mm lower drive train and new torque support arm. KTM will also be fitting its newly designed bonnet when it's officially launched at the Geneva motor show (the one in the picture's the old style).

Because of all the changes, you won't be able to retrofit one to your current X-Bow. Which is probably a good thing, because it seems like KTM's forgotten to make it look... very sporty. OK, so it is a prototype, but the manufacturer tells us that the screen design won't be changing (but the bodywork will be).

What d'you think, TopGear.comrades? Awesome or awful?

Tags: ktm, x bow, x bow gt

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