Established in 1934, KTM is one of the world’s most renown motorcycle manufacturers, with products ranging from street bikes to off-road and racing two-wheelers. Recent years, however, saw KTM enter sports car manufacturing, giving the auto industry a solid competitors for the likes of the Caterham Seven. Thus the X-Bow was born, an ultra-light vehicle with a turbocharged Audi engine mounted behind its seats. Weighing less than 1,800 pounds, the X-Bow spawned many iterations and even a couple of race cars, including an FIA-homologated GT4 track car. In 2015, seven years since its inception, the X-Bow enters a new era as KTM, together with Reiter Engineering, is developing a new racer that will be available to customers in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Unlike its GT4-spec predecessor, the still-unnamed race car features a closed cockpit and a conventional hood atop its mid-mounted engine. The track-exclusive machine remains recognizable as an X-Bow when viewed from the front, but the concept is entirely different from what we’ve seen from KTM in the past. Details are still scarce as of 12/18/2014, with only a few specs and teaser photos revealing some of the styling. However, KTM did announce the race car is being developed in conjunction with Reiter Engineering, and that’s pretty big news.

If you’re not familiar with the racing scene, Reiter Engineering is responsible for the Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 and the Murcielago GT1 race car, among other vehicles. The German team even went so far as to create a GT3 version of the Chevrolet Camaro. Reiter is also one of the very few racing crews to develop a track version of the Lamborghini Diablo. Need I say more? I do actually, because Reiter Engineering is also the company responsible for the KTM X-Bow GT4, which won the Supersport category for lighter cars against competition from Donkervoort and Lotus.

Updated 02/11/2015: KTM revealed the first official image of its new X-Bow GT4 and announced the model will be put on sale in April at a price of €139,000 - or about $157,000 at the current exchange rates.

Click past the jump to read more about the KTM X-Bow Racecar.

  • 2015 KTM X-Bow GT4
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Transmission:
    sequential six-speed
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    320
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    4 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • Price:
    € 139000 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Updated history

Updated 12/15/2014: KTM unveiled a new teaser image and new details on its future X-Bow racer developed in cooperation with Reiter Engineering. Details after the jump.

Exterior

2015 KTM X-Bow GT4 Exterior
- image 577085
Viewed from above, the concept is entirely different from what we’ve seen from KTM in the past

Based on the two renderings released as of December 2014, the new race car remains recognizable as an X-Bow when viewed from the front, sporting the same sculpted, V-shaped nose and massive, trapezoidal front grille. However, the headlamps are now protected by plastic covers and the turn signals have been replaced by air vents designed to keep the front brakes cool. A carbon-fiber splitter and a redesigned windshield improve aerodynamics.

Viewed from above, the concept is entirely different from what we’ve seen from KTM in the past. The GT4-spec X-Bow features a closed cockpit and a conventional hood atop its mid-mounted engine, while a massive carbon-fiber wing provides extra downforce. KTM should seriously consider building a street-spec version of this sleek-looking racer.

Interior

KTM has yet to provide info and photos of the interior, but we expect the X-Bow’s cockpit to come in a FIA-approved, no-nonsense configuration limited to race-spec gear and a full roll cage.

Drivetrain

Motivation comes from the same Audi-sourced, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine seen in most KTM road cars. In this configuration, the mill is set to generate about 320 horsepower and send it to the wheels through a Holinger sequential six-speed transmission with paddle shifters. The track-prepped X-Bow also comes with a racing ABS system, but other than that, KTM has yet to unveil additional info.

Prices

Pricing details have yet to be announced, but KTM said this X-Bow will be priced "in the range of the SRO rules for GT4." The closed cockpit X-Bow will also be homologated for the Pirelli World Challenge series, meaning U.S. customers will get to hoon it on America’s finest race tracks.

Competitors

Aston Martin Vantage GT4

2014 Aston Martin Vantage GT4 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 547483

The GT4 European Series is packed with all sorts of vehicles, ranging from rear-engined Porsche 911s to modified BMW M3s, Chevy Camaros and Lotus Evoras. Also competing in this series is the Aston Martin Vantage GT4, a gentleman’s race car built to FIA GT regulations. Also eligible for the GTS class of the Pirelli World Challenge, the British coupe is motivated by a 4.7-liter, V-8 engine specifically prepped by Aston Martin Racing.

An unspecified amount of power travels to the wheels through either a six-speed manual or a Sportshift transmission that comes with a twin-plate cera-metallic clutch with lightweight flywheel. Aerodynamic upgrades include an adjustable carbon-fiber rear wing, a new front splitter and carbon-fiber canards fitted to the front bumper. Inside, there’s a set of Recaro racing seats with Sabelt six-point harnesses, a quick-release steering wheel and an FIA-compliant extinguisher system.

Of course, the new X-Bow racer won’t be able to race in the same category as the Vantage GT4, but the two will encounter each other on European tracks.

Cadillac ATS-V.R

2015 Cadillac ATS-V.R Exterior
- image 577724
Well, that didn’t take long; Cadillac has already unveiled all of the images and details surrounding the new ATS-V.R race car.

Likewise, the X-Bow GT4 will get to race against a bevy of incredible cars in the Pirelli World Challenge, the newest of which is the Cadillac ATS-V.R. Designed to replace the CTS-V.R, the car that won three back-to-back season through 2014, the ATS-V.R is based on the company’s newly unveiled BMW M4 fighter, the ATS-V Coupe. An extreme aerodynamic body kits sets this racer apart from its road-going sibling, while the interior features a host of GT3-spec gear, including bolstered seats with multi-point harnesses, a multifunctional steering wheel, an FIA-approved full roll cage, new pedals, and a race-specific shifter.

Powering Cadillac’s brand-new track machine is the LF4.R powerplant, which is the racing version of the twin-turbocharged, 3.6-liter, V-6 engine found in the Cadillac CTS Vsport. The powerplant carries twin BorgWarner turbochargers, increased-capacity intercoolers, and a competition engine management system, which all do a part in increasing its output to 600 horsepower and 520 pound-feet of torque. The engine mates to a bespoke, Xtrac sequential six-speed transaxle and a limited-slip differential with a 3.13-to-1 final drive ratio.

Conclusion

The KTM X-Bow may not benefit from the heritage that made the Caterham Seven famous, but the Austrian sports car is slowly but surely climbing up the celebrity ladder. The X-Bow hasn’t change much lately, although KTM continues to improve the car and squeeze more power from its engine, but this GT4-spec racer comes to revolutionize the concept behind the KTM sports car. The closed-cockpit configuration is obviously its main highlight, but this X-Bow has yet to reveal all the tricks it has in store. Fingers crossed KTM is pondering a road-legal version as well.

  • Leave it
    • Not for road use
    • Racing a full Pirelli World Challenge season doesn’t come cheap

Press Release

Reiter Engineering GmbH & Co KG and KTM Sportcar GmbH are working together on a racing car that will be available to customers in Europe, the USA and Asia. The construction of the vehicle and all of the logistics, including sales and supply of spare parts will be in the hands of Reiter Engineering.

2015 KTM X-Bow GT4 Exterior
- image 577085

The joint motor racing project represents a continuation of the successful partnership between Reiter Engineering and KTM Sportcar that dates back to 2008 when the cooperation resulted in overall victory in the “GT4 Sports Light European Championship”. At that time German driver Christopher Haase won the European GT4 Championship title driving a KTM X-BOW GT4, fighting against tough international competition.

Hans Reiter, responsible in recent years for the highly successful deployment of the Lamborghini Gallardo GT3 and the Murcielago GT1 racing cars, and who last season caused a stir with the GT3 variant of the Chevrolet Camaro, commented on the cooperation with KTM saying: “Now is the ideal time to introduce a revolutionary new vehicle concept into international customer motorsport. This is an opportunity I did not want to miss and I presented my ideas to KTM. I’m convinced that the new model will attract a lot of interest and will be very successful internationally. My thanks to project partners KTM Sportcar, KISKA and KTM Technologies who have energetically supported us in realizing the project.”

Hubert Trunkenpolz, member of KTM’s Executive Board, is looking forward to the return of a KTM car to international motorsport: “With the X-BOW BATTLE we have established a highly successful One-make series competition for our customers who are also motorsport enthusiasts. We are very aware that among them, and among many other like-minded enthusiasts, there is a demand for a racing car that can compete in international races. With this in mind, Hans Reiter came to us with the challenging idea of developing a completely new X-BOW for use in motorsport. We enthusiastically support this development in the knowledge that Reiter Engineering is an internationally recognized team that develops, constructs and markets highly successful racing cars. We are hundred percent convinced that the result will be a real ‘READY TO RACE’ product in the best KTM tradition!”

Press Release December, 12 2014

The announcement from Reiter Engineering GmbH & Co KG and KTM Sportcar GmbH that they are working on a new KTM racing car has caused quite a stir in the racing scene. Now there are further details for all those interested in putting their trust in a GT4 racing car from Reiter Engineering in the coming year, one that is homologated from SRO and Pirelli World Challenge.

The new rendering by KISKA points to the final design of the KTM racing car. The vehicle showcases the typically futuristic KTM design. Not only is the overall design impressive, but the technology behind the completely redesigned exterior will be state-of-the-art.

Hans Reiter, proprietor of Reiter Engineering explains further: “In the first stage we homologate the new racing car for both the SRO GT4 and the Pirelli World Challenge GT-S classes!" The new KTM racing car will generate approximately 320 hp with the well-known 2.0 liter TFSI engine, which is coupled with a sequential six-speed gearbox from Holinger, naturally with paddle shift. "In addition there is also a racing ABS system. When it comes to the weight we are orienting ourselves on the current SRO GT4 practice. Ultimately however we have to wait to see how much balance weight and horsepower the SRO and the Pirelli World Challenge assigns us as part of the ‘Balance of Performance’.”

Price-wise the GT4 racer, which is exclusively prepared and available from Reiter Engineering, should be in the range of the SRO rules for GT4. According to Reiter, “When you reflect on what the customer is being offered here in terms of the most modern racing technology, together with a very impressive safety concept, then you can really speak about it being exceptionally good value for money. Since the new car is based on the KTM X-BOW, the customer is going to get a racing car that has now been tested on the world’s racing circuits for six years. Our next major milestone will be the SRO BOP test in the coming spring.”

Press Release - February 11, 2015

The joint racing project of Reiter Engineering GmbH & Co KG and the KTM Sportcar GmbH is taking on ever more concrete forms. The first roll-out of the new vehicle is set for February, in March will see the SRO “Balance of Performance” test, and in spring the GT4 racing car will be available for the numerous customer teams that have expressed an interest. As of now, both the name and the price have been fixed: The KTM X-BOW GTR will be available from April at €139,000.

Reiter Engineering owner Hans Reiter is convinced that after many weeks of intensive work that the KTM X-BOW GTR will be ready in time for the “BOP” of the SRO, and indeed “READY TO RACE”: “First of all I have to compliment all those who have been involved at KISKA, at KTM Technologies and the KTM Sportcar GmbH who have all worked without a break, just as my own people have really done a perfect job in the shortest possible time. We are now in the end phase and if we can keep almost exactly to our self imposed, extremely tight schedule, it is looking good. In keeping with this program, the first tests are planned in mid to late February.”

Now that the various development processes are completed and most of the production processes have begun for the many special parts, Hans Reiter is now able to communicate the price of the KTM X-BOW GTR: “At €139,000 we have managed to offer an attractive price for the most modern and safe GT4 racing car on the market. The GTR features the most advanced racing technology, which is normally only the case in higher categories. And in matters of safety, the monocoque technology offers the most unique protection ever in this class up to this point in time. In addition, thanks to the special construction of our latest racing car, the ‘running costs’ are kept within encouraging limits.”

As with all KTM vehicles, Austrian design studio KISKA was responsible for the design development of the KTM X-BOW GTR. The studio also played a key role in designating the new KTM X-BOW as a “GTR”; a class of vehicle with a rich motorsports heritage that possesses much cachet amongst automotive enthusiasts. By creating the X-BOW GTR, KTM is also taking an important next step in the ongoing evolution of the KTM X-BOW. The brand launched the X-BOW in 2008 and the KTM X-BOW GT, which features a wraparound windshield, in 2013. The addition of a third iteration of the KTM X-BOW, one that is fully covered and “READY TO RACE” is the next logical step in the vehicle’s development.

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