Body style: Convertible (spider/spyder, cabrio/cabriolet, drop/open/soft top)
Segment: Roadster & Convertible
Production years: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, 2023
Produced by the motorcycle manufacturer KTM, the X-Bow was a two-seater roadster built for fun, with a turbocharged engine mounted on a feather-light chassis. It was in 2008.
After a constant battle for power, some niche manufacturers convinced their buyers that more important than horsepower is the power-to-weight ratio. In 2000, the American company Ariel started the revolutionary Atom roadster with the engine mounted behind the driver and a rear-wheel-drive. In 2008, KTM introduced its feather-weight vehicle, the X-Bow.
The X-Bow was late to the party with its invention. The world economic crisis started to bite the car-industry and the deep pockets started to shrink. But the aggressive look of the vehicle, with exposed chassis components and two, side-by-side, seats in the open-air cockpit was strange. A big bulge behind the driver protected the engine. The initial model was able to be registered on the road but later on the X-Bow was built for race-track only.
The design was a cooperation between KTM, Audi and Dallara. The final product was launched at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show and the look and the vehicle stunned the media. It was a true race-developed car adapted for the street. It didn't have a roof, a windshield, a radio or anything that was not needed for a race-car. It featured push-rod suspensions in all corners for greater cornering speed.
The carbon-fiber tubular chassis built by the race-car engineering company Dallara and the inline-four engine from Audi, could rocket the X-Bow in 12.3 seconds at 112 mph (180 kph).