Car news

08 June 2012

Exclusive: news on the next KTM X-Bow

Piers Ward hears the latest plans for the company from CEO Stefan Pierer

Piers Ward
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Jeremy will be pleased - driving a KTM is about to get a lot more civilised. From March next year, the Austrian manufacturer will offer a version of its relentlessly track-focused X-Bow with a windscreen. It will even have ‘doors'...

We've got this information following an exclusive chat with Stefan Pierer, CEO of KTM AG. He admitted that fitting this sort of structure isn't as easy as just bolting some Plexiglas to the carbon fibre monocoque - having a windscreen creates an awful lot of homologation compliance issues. You need a heating system to de-mist it, doors to allow easier access to the cockpit, windscreen wipers... KTM is also looking into a heated windscreen to de-mist it even faster. The Austrian attention to detail for this is impressive.

There was talk of having a bubble roof for the X-Bow, but that has been abandoned in favour of the windscreen because a full roof leads to even more homologation problems. As such, there will be a temporary ‘cruising home parasol' that clips over the windscreen and is good for 130kph. Think along the lines of the Bugatti Grand Sport grand roof.

And in other KTM news, it looks like it will attempt an assault on the LMP2 category at Le Mans, possibly using a five-cylinder engine. Audi's turbo-charged five-pot from the TT RS fits in the X-Bow engine bay, so there's an easy fix for the powerplant. And our money is on that engine eventually making it into a X-Bow road car. Yes please, KTM.

So: KTM is now trying to appeal to a broader spectrum. Along with carbon fibre specialist Wethje which Stefan Pierer's Cross Industries owns - it will build the tub for the upcoming Porsche 918 - KTM is aiming to appeal to a more hardcore racer with the LMP2 project, at the same time as sucking in a more leisurely customer with the windscreened X-Bow. Seems it's no longer just the Brits who can claim to be at the forefront of lightweight cars...

Tags: ktm, x bow

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