For 14 years Austrians have been building one of the most exciting sports cars in the world. The lightweight carbon chassis co-developed by Dallara, was lauded back in 2008 as one of the most exciting things in cars, and when paired with its 300-horsepower Audi inline-5 engine (the standard engine since 2012) it is incredibly quick. After a decade of very minor changes to the car, it’s time for a major update. Namely, more power and a roof.
For a handful of seasons, KTM has offered an FIA-homologated GT4 version of the X-Bow, which features a forward-tilting hatch-style roof canopy. It has been a reasonably successful race car, with a few regional sports car championships to its name over the world.
With the popularity of the GT4 version, KTM decided that it would build a more powerful version of the race car for SRO GT2-class competition to race against Porsche’s GT2 RS Clubsport and Audi’s R8 LMS GT2. This racer would feature a much-boosted version of the Audi I5 producing around 600 horsepower. Once again KTM had a grand plan to offer the GT2 to non-racers, though also failed to make this one street legal. The track-day-only KTM X-Bow GTX brought the same 600 horsepower and 2310 pounds to anyone with the cash to plop down, regardless of racing license status.
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Now, it would seem, KTM is working to finally make a street-legal supercar version the track-only X-Bow. It’s clear that a lot of work will need to be done to the car to make it street legal, including stuff like airbags and driver assist systems. The car shown in these images is undergoing R&D assessment right now in Europe, and the final version is expected to reach customers in 2023.
The X-Bow GT2 race car and GTX track day special push 600 horsepower and 531 lb-ft of torque from their Audi 5-cylinder engines. It would stand to reason that the same will be the case for this street-legal model, though perhaps slightly less is also possible. Audi’s 2023 RS3 is expected to deliver just 401 street-legal horsepower, but surely KTM can get more from it, right? KTM did confirm that the engine will push its as-yet-unannounced horsepower through a 7-speed “direct shift” transmission and limited slip differential.
Up until this point every version of the KTM X-Bow has used the same 176 pound carbon monocoque. There’s no telling what the street car will end up weighing, but it should be quite the flyweight sports car from the company best known for its two-wheelers.
Now here’s the question, is there any reason to buy the Dallara-developed KTM X-Bow over the much newer Dallara Stradale?