KTM’s all-conquering track toy tacks on more ferocity with the German tuner in the fold

Track cars like the KTM X-Bow are built for a specific purpose. Nobody’s going to use these cars for anything other than setting blistering lap times around whatever race track they find themselves in. Those who are familiar with KTM know that the Austrian company plies its trade in the motorcycle business. But in the past few years, KTM has also ventured into the world of four wheels, and no product has been as positively received as the X-Bow GT, the range-topping trim of the X-Bow lineup.

The new KTM X-Bow GT, which is being sold in Europe through German tuner Wimmer RS, is already being lined up as the next great track day toy. While it retains the looks of its predecessor, the new X-Bow GT is a different breed altogether. For starters, it has a new engine that supplies more power, thus enabling the 1,867-pound pocket rocket to be even more ferocious on the track. More ferocity equals more fun, and there’s no question that the new X-Bow GT fits the bill of a spectacular track car that can make even the most seasoned of drivers scream to the high heavens.

Since Wimmer RS is a sales partner of the KTM X-Bow GT, the German tuner usually comes up with an aftermarket program for the track car. Judging by its past tuning kits, including a recent one for the X-Bow R back in November 2015, Wimmer RS will have an action-packed kit prepared for the X-Bow GT. You can take that to the bank.

Continue after the jump to read the full review.

  • 2016 KTM X-Bow GT By Wimmer RS
  • Year:
    2016
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    300
  • 0-60 time:
    4.1 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    143.5 mph
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2016 KTM X-Bow GT By Wimmer RS High Resolution Exterior
- image 662747

The KTM X-Bow GT continues to look the part of past X-Bow models, albeit with some modifications to justify its Gran Turismo label. For instance, it’s the only X-Bow variant that has a windshield. Side windows are also features that are exclusive to the GT variant, acting both as protection against the elements and as doors that open and close on gas pressure shock absorbers.

The lightweight body is made up of a two-piece carbon monocoque that was created from four layers of carbon fiber and epoxy resin.

The lightweight body is made up of a two-piece carbon monocoque that was created from four layers of carbon fiber and epoxy resin. The combination of these materials provides strengthened security for the driver while also helping keep the X-Bow GT’s weight down. On the aerodynamic front, the X-Bow GT benefits from having a front splitter, rear diffuser, and a completely flat underbody surface that allows air to slip under the car without creating any sort of drag that would otherwise disrupt the flow of air.

The X-Bow GT also comes with a set of 17- and 18-inch tires on the front and rear axles, respectively. The tires are complemented by a Brembo braking system.

Interior

2016 KTM X-Bow GT By Wimmer RS High Resolution Exterior
- image 662742

Even if Wimmer RS serves as a sales partner with KTM for X-Bow GT, the tuner resisted the urge to make any modifications. This is somewhat surprising because the German tuner has a previous program for an older version of the X-Bow GT and that program included a bevy of extra equipment inside the cabin. For instance, the seats in that program were given orange-colored seams while the gear switch was wrapped in leather-made gaiter.

It also had a new hand-brake lever, a multi-function switch for the navigator, and a few GT logos stitched into the headrests. It’s tough to say why Wimmer was more conservative with this version of the X-Bow GT, but the most likely scenario would be for the tuner to have a modification that isn’t out in the market yet. Keep your fingers crossed for that scenario and hope that the tuner releases one sooner than later.

Drivetrain

2016 KTM X-Bow GT By Wimmer RS High Resolution Exterior
- image 662738
The output for the new KTM X-Bow GT now comes up to 300 horsepower, 15 ponies more than the previous version.

The output for the new KTM X-Bow GT now comes up to 300 horsepower, 15 ponies more than the previous version. Somewhat surprisingly, the torque numbers remain at 309 pound-feet, so improvements in the track car’s performance are incremental at best. For instance, the X-Bow GT’s 0-to-62 mph time is still at 4.1 seconds and while there’s no mention of a top speed, expect the car to still comfortably clear 143.5 mph without breaking a sweat.

It’s also worth noting that with its weight of 847 kg (1,867 pounds,) the X-Bow GT is capable of producing as much as 2.0 Gs in lateral acceleration. I’ve never been the type who is comfortable in g forces so I don’t know what 2.0 Gs feels like. But, for those who have felt it, the temptation must be there to experience it while driving the X-Bow GT.

Safety

2016 KTM X-Bow GT By Wimmer RS High Resolution Exterior
- image 662741

A car than can perform like on the track obviously needs to have the appropriate safety features to ensure that drivers are secure whenever they step inside the car. An aluminum rollbar is an important feature of the car and is integrated into the carbon fiber monocoque to help ensure protection in the event of a rollover. These roll bars, according to Wimmer, are capable of withstanding loads that weight up to 2.5 times the X-Bow GT’s own weight. Another safety feature of the X-Bow GT is a crash box located in the nose of the track car.

Pricing

The KTM X-Bow GT is now available in Europe for a tidy price of € 79,000. That’s roughly around $86,210 based on current exchange rates. Anybody who’s interested in the track car can contact Wimmer RS directly to learn more about how to acquire this breathtaking piece of machinery.

Competition

Ariel Atom 3S

2015 Ariel Atom 3S High Resolution Exterior
- image 572507
The Ariel Atom 3S is insanity pushed to a whole new level.

Any discussion of track-exclusive race toys would be incomplete without mentioning the Ariel Atom. Over the years, Ariel has introduced numerous versions of the Atom but it’s the latest one - the Atom 3S - that most fits the bill as a direct rival to the X-Bow GT. It’s not as powerful as its V-8 big brother, but with a Honda-sourced 2.4-liter turbocharged V-8 engine that can churn out 365 horsepower at its disposal, the Atom 3S is still more than capable of handling the X-Bow GT.

Add that to the fact that the car also has a revised design that includes F1-style pods for the intercoolers and an optional windscreen, and it’s clear that the Atom 3S makes for a significant rival to the X-Bow GT. Oh, and Ariel’s also offering chassis upgrades and transmission options for the 3S, ensuring the level of customization is really up to the owner.

But, here’s the best news about the Atom 3S: it’s available in the US! Sure, the price tag of $89,975 is a little more than what customers will have to pay for the X-Bow GT. That price also goes up with every amount of customization that’s added into the package, making it realistic for a fully prepped 3S to fetch close to $100,000.

Read our full review on the Ariel Atom 3S here.

BAC Mono

2011 BAC Mono Track Car Exterior
- image 395959

The Ariel Atom 3S and the KTM X-Bow GT are both aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. But, here’s the thing. Neither are as sexy as the BAC Mono, another one of those single-seater, track-day sports cars that’s becoming the rage these days.

The second-generation Mono actually made its debut at the 2015 Goodwood Festival of Speed, and while its design remains largely unchanged from the first generation model, the new Mono differentiates itself from its predecessor with a new a 2.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that pumps out 305 horsepower. Combine that with the car’s svelte 1,278-pound weight and you have a car that’s capable of producing a power-to-weight ratio of 526 horsepower per ton, That puts the Mono in very esteemed company that’s normally reserved for some of the fastest and most powerful cars in the world.

Unfortunately, there is a downside to the Mono, and it has nothing to do with the car. BAC typically charges well into the six-digit prices for a Mono. The cost for owning the current version is still unclear, but its predecessor was sold at Sector111 LLC, California back in 2011 at a starting price of $130,000.

Read our full review on the BAC Mono here.

Conclusion

2016 KTM X-Bow GT By Wimmer RS High Resolution Exterior
- image 662739

The KTM X-Bow will always be a favorite in my book, even if it’s lined up against some stiff competition. The new X-Bow GT, in particular, appears to have all the tools to be a ball of fun to drive on the track. It has a new engine that provides more power. It still has all the top-grade safety features that previous versions had. And, it’s got a tuner like Wimmer RS that serves as both a distributor and an aftermarket consultant to give you what you need to turn the X-Bow GT into the track car of your dreams.

  • Leave it
    • * Totally for a niche client base
    • * Quite expensive
    • * Has no purpose other than to give track thrills
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: