KTM – Europe's second biggest motorcycle manufacturer – will introduce the first ever car in the company's 50-year history: the X-Bow. The background for this step can be found in the dynamic development of the company. An annual growth rate of 21 percent in sales and 25 percent in turnover has been achieved since the new start-up of the motorcycle production in the year 1992. The company's output in 1992 was 6000 motorcycles with 160 employees while in the last financial year production was 84,421 motorcycles with 1697 employees.
Since the beginning of the new century, KTM, as the world market leader in the offroad segment has successively expanded its range of business activities into the street segment. The first step into the automotive sector is therefore a logical extension of this strategy. With the X-Bow, KTM can offer all those who do not have a motorcycle license a driving experience that is typical for the brand. The Philosophy: Ready to Race
As different as cars and motorcycles may be, KTM has managed to transfer its development principles from two wheels to a sports car in every way. In this way the unique driving experience and the spectacular merits of the drive are not just dependent on the performance of the engine. Just as they have managed to do with motorcycles, the KTM developers have kept the weight of the vehicle extremely light by using the latest materials, an intelligent construction and a purist styling. The car will weigh only about 700 kg.
The interaction between the sophisticated aerodynamic concept and a motor sports-oriented chassis makes the X-Bow clearly superior to a far higher performance sports car. Thanks to its open form of construction, the just 70mm high windshield and the free standing wheels after the style of a Formula racing car, it is not only the appearance, but also the driving experience that is immediately evident as entirely unique. Speed from every perspective: the design
Aggressive, edgy, dynamic, a personality from every angle: the design of the KTM X-Bow originates unmistakably from the house of Kiska. Austria's biggest design studio has had close links to KTM for almost 15 years and is not only responsible for the design of the motorcycles, but also for the corporate image of the company. The design of a lightweight sports car is where passion and challenge meet, resulting in a product that fits seamlessly into the KTM brand family.
The stylish hallmark of the X-Bow is its light-footed, optical presence evoked by the apparent floating panels of the bodywork, the rangy wheels and the transparent area that allows a perspective of the vehicle technology, which for example makes parts of the suspension and damping visible. The technical elegance of the carbon chassis has been used as a design element for the graphic concept. The two outer mirrors which are fixed to double guided stays are symbolic of the lightweight construction.
The purist attitude of the X-Bow also finds its expression in the striking headlights and rear lights. The rear is dominated by a central silencer and a powerful diffuser which is an indication of the level of painstaking work on the aerodynamics of the vehicle.
And as the first ever KTM sports car, the X-Bow naturally comes in the Mattighofen fashion colours: black and orange. Cooperation with Dallara: The carbon fibre monocoque
The core of the KTM X-Bow is the sophisticated carbon fibre monocoque. This high-tech solution was until now reserved for use in top class motor sport and for elite street sports cars. Through a new construction- and production process developed together with the Italian development partner, the tradition-rich racing car specialist Dallara, this technology can now be offered in a significantly cheaper version. The KTM X-Bow therefore takes on the role of a forerunner that can use new insights and production processes to its benefit.
These advantages are impressive everywhere: With an extremely light weight of around 70 kg, the chassis of the X-Bow offers a maximum amount of rigidity and safety. A crash box in the front nose of the monocoque absorbs collision energy, while the roll bars are integrated into the structure.
An options kit is available on request which increases the recognized safety levels to that of the motor sports authorities FIA: this includes having additional struts mounted at already designated points. Intelligent Turbo Power
KTM was able to secure Audi AG as a partner for the engine, which when delivered from the company in Ingolstadt Germany, is a congenial extension for the slim concepts of the KTM X-Bow. The four cylinder engine completely made of aluminium is light, compact and includes the most modern engine technology: four valve technology, FSI direct fuel injection, high pressure injection valves, turbo charge, a smooth, adjustable intake camshaft and two balancer shafts.
With this engine, the basic version of the KTM X-Bow will achieve 220 hp. An additional version will have a performance in the area of 300 hp at its disposal. First simulations for the KTM X-Bow in any case demonstrate its superior characteristics; the acceleration to 100kph should be comfortably under four seconds.
The transmission versions also come from Audi AG. A manual six-gear transmission comes with the series production, while an optional DSG-transmission will also be offered. Motor sports for the highway
Apart from the optimal distribution of weight with the engine mounted between the axles, a guarantee of high speeds in the corners comes from the chassis' high quality suspension and damping elements. In this area KTM can call upon competence in its own company: the KTM Netherlands subsidiary White Power has at its disposal chassis experts for both on road vehicles and motor sports.
The brakes also come from the best possible source: KTM has had a long-term and fruitful partnership with the Italian specialists Brembo.
And for further improvements in the traction, KTM will offer a limited slip differential for the rear axle. This component part is particularly targeted at drivers who want to engage in certain activities on racing circuits. Purism without compromise
The lightweight concept also demands some limitations. This is why the X-Bow deliberately does away with many comfort features which, because with their weight and the space need for construction have a negative effect on the performance of the vehicle. These include such features as a sound system and an air conditioner.
On the other hand, because of the X-Bow's concept, it is not dependent on many weighty elements. Its lightweight makes power steering redundant; the narrow windscreen requires neither windscreen washers nor blowers; the sloping lines of the side of the vehicle and the seat height make it possible to get into the car without having a door; and lastly the carbon chassis together with the four-point safety belt create a safety package that makes airbags unnecessary.
It was also a conscious decision to reject any electronic driving aids. The KTM X-Bow is designed as a piece of high-tech sports equipment for experienced customers who prefer a filter less driving pleasure. Innovative accessories
By doing away with the roof, both the driver and passenger of the KTM X-Bow are exposed to the elements in a similar way to that of a motorcycle. For this reason a decision was taken concerning an accessories program that has parallels with the world of motorcycles.
Special overalls for use with the KTM X-Bow have been developed together with the northern Italian clothing experts Dainese. These garments will take over some of the comfort functions that are usually available with a vehicle with a roof – for example entertainment and communication systems. These functions are directly integrated into the clothing, which will also naturally serve as protection against cold and windy weather.
An important part of the custom-made driver equipment will be a helmet specially designed for this project. Wearing of the helmet is not required by law but is recommended by KTM. In this way the X-Bow also represents a bridge to a motorcycle. Special storage space is also provided for these two helmets.
A light, easy to install tarpaulin to cover the interior of the car will also be available. Premiere in Geneva
This lightweight sports car with innovative technology will make its first public appearance at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2007. In the same year, 100 units of the comprehensive pre-series will be manufactured in-house by Italian racing car specialists Dallara and sold by KTM. The price for the basic version will be around EÚRO 40,000.
Dependent on the reaction to the presentation of the car and the success of the pre-series, KTM plans further small series productions of this car. This production will take place in Austria and begin in the year 2008. KTM is working on the basis of a projected 500 units per year for this small series production.
The decision concerning this small series production will be taken at the end of April 2007. If it is positive, KTM will establish a small but efficient sales structure up to the time of the commencement of production at the end of 2008. It is planned to have a dealer network of up to two qualified sales establishments per country. Where these will be located depends, not the least on the planned European-wide conformity for the norms of small series homologation. According to the present situation, sales offices for the X-Bow could be considered for the following countries: Germany, Finland, Greece, Britain, Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Switzerland.Source - KTM
KTM's first automobile
» Racing technology for the road
» Light and safe carbon fibre monocoque
» Spectacular design
» Four-cylinder TFSI from Audi
» Puristic, unfiltered driving experience
» Supersport performance
» Outstanding power-output values
» Production of a 100-unit pilot series begins at the end of 2007
» A decision about producing a small series will be made until April 2007Premiere at the Geneva Motor Show
An aggressive design and sporty potential: the X-Bow is not merely a milestone in the KTM brand's more than 50-year history, it's also a new citation in the small, but elite segment of radical, lightweight sports cars. This exceptional position is the result of the concept: for their first car, KTM employs the finest materials, high-tech and the know-how of respected development partners such as Audi and Dallara. The result is a street-homologated sports car with racing technology, like an avantgarde, carbon fibre monocoque. Thanks to the basic version's light weight and the 162 kW (220 hp) Audi TFSI engine, the performance values of the KTM X-Bow outstrip those of super-sport cars with more than twice the power: with a deadweight of approx. 700 kilos, the KTM X-Bow accelerates to 100 kph in just 3.9 seconds.
But the X-Bow isn't just a racing machine, even if it is going to accomplish spectacular performance feats on racing circuits. With its modern technologies and exceptional solutions, it's much more oriented towards sporty drivers who seek a purist's driving experience. By foregoing electronic assistants and today's standard comfort features, the X-Bow offers an unfiltered adventure – aided by its standalone wheels in the style of monoposto racing cars, transparent technology and the car's reduced concept, i.e. no roof, doors or windscreen. The sports car has only a 70-millimeter, transparent wind deflector. With all these unique features, driving the KTM X-Bow becomes an experience with an immediacy that otherwise can only be felt when riding a motorcycle.The Next Step into the Future
Carbon Fibre Monocoque: Racing Know-How from Dallara
For the Úpper Austrian motorcycle manufacturer – Europe's second largest – the decision to expand its line of business into the automobile market was of great strategic significance. It was made possible by the company's extraordinarily dynamic growth over the past 15 years. Since 1992, KTM vehicle sales have risen an average of 21% each year, while the volume of sales even climbed to 25% each year. Today, KTM is the world's leading brand in the offroad segment and in recent years has successively expanded its model portfolio into the street sector. 'Moving into the automotive sector is the logical continuation of this strategy. With the X-Bow, KTM can now offer the classic KTM driving experience to all those who don't have a motorcycle licence,' says Stefan Pierer, CEO of the listed KTM Power Sports AG, explaining this investment in the company's future.
Carbon fibre monocoques have been the Formula 1's safety net for years. On the road, this technology was formerly reserved for the elitist, supersports cars in the highest price classes. KTM would now like to be the first to offer this solution in a much more affordable environment.
KTM has thereby been able to call upon the expertise of its development partner, Dallara. These specialists from Varano (near Parma) in Northern Italy have long been acclaimed as carbon technology experts, from the conception to the production of components made of this light, yet rigid material. The monocoque developed for the KTM X-Bow is not only extremely robust it is also safe, thanks to an integrated crashbox. And yet it weighs only about 70 kilos and is therefore a crucial factor in the vehicle's spectacular performance.The Engine: TFSI Technology from Audi
KTM was able to gain Audi AG as its partner in developing the drive unit. The four-cylinder TFSI engine represents the X-Bow's construction principles in an ingenious way: by featuring lightweight, high-performance and intelligent technologies.
The engine's outstanding attribute is its gasoline direct injection technology, FSI. In this case, it's combined with an exhaust turbocharger plus an intercooler. Thanks to FSI, the engine can utilize fuel better than one with ordinary intake manifold injection and it even gets by on less fuel in the frequently used partial load range.
The injection takes place at a pressure level between 30 and 110 bar, valves in the intake system direct the inflowing air into a cylindrical movement. A continuously variable intake camshaft ensures optimal cylinder charging at any speed. Two balancer shafts compensate the second order inertia forces and so guarantee superior, low-vibration operation.
The KTM X-Bow's long-stroking, four-valve engine delivers a powerful performance: 300 newton-metres of torque peaks at a level between 2200 and 4000 rpm. The peak performance of 162 kW (220 hp) is achieved at 5900 rpm. Even more powerful engine variations in the 300-horsepower range are planned at a later date.
The drive unit package is complemented by a manual 6-gear transmission, which is also made by VW and can be equipped with a limited-slip differential if so desired. An optional S tronic transmission will also be offered. The drive comes from the rear wheels.The Chassis: Direct and Competent
The X-Bow's driving dynamics profit not only from the car's low centre of gravity but also from its superior chassis, which also draws on racing technology for its basic principles. Suspended on double triangular wishbone axles, the wheels feature suspension and damping elements by WP Suspension, with a pushrod arrangement up front.
The Italian brake manufacturer Brembo can also be proud of its reputation for excellence. KTM is also expanding this partnership (which began in the motorcycle sector) into the automobile realm. The X-Bow's powerful braking system consists of 305 mm discs at the front and 262 mm discs at the rear. The interaction of the vehicle's light weight, ideal balance, low centre of gravity and a 17-/18-inch tyre mix results in spectacular braking performance: when the brakes are warm, the KTM X-Bow needs only 33.1 metres to decelerate from 100 kph to a standstill.The Aerodynamics: Exceptional Contact Pressure
The primary development goal for the KTM X-Bow was not attaining extreme final velocities, but in optimising the driving dynamics. The sports car is thereby aided by an ingenious aerodynamics arrangement, the result of many hours in Dallara's wind tunnel. The most vital element in this area is the underbody, which is equipped with a prominent diffusor at the rear. To make this diffusor work even more effectively, the linking points for the rear suspension were set as high as possible. This enables the KTM X-Bow to achieve a phenomenal downforce of about 200 kilograms at a speed of 200 km/h – about three times more than most other supersport cars.
In combination with the high-performance chassis, this fantastic downforce makes extreme curve speeds possible. The transversal acceleration of 1.23 g that can thus be attained noticeably surpasses the usual values achieved by street homologated sports cars.
The aerodynamic concept was a great challenge for the designer as well. It meant that sufficient air had to be channelled into the inlets located in the sides, behind the passengers. The radiator is also located at the rear of the vehicle, to avoid having to install longer, heavier cooling hoses. This mission was accomplished by using special air baffles, which are installed horizontally on the sides of the car so the passengers can also use them as boarding aids.Safety: Racing Technology
The crucial component protecting the driver and the passenger is the solid, carbon fibre monocoque – safety technology straight from Formula 1. This structure is supplemented by a crashbox in the nose of the vehicle. The silencer, which is built into the rear of the car, was also designed to act as a crashbox; it absorbs the force of an impact to the rear of the vehicle.
The driver and passenger are also protected by four-point safety belts, which were inspired by the racing world. If so desired, this unit can be equipped with a fifth securing point. The two roll bars are clearly visible. They not only appear to be solid, they are skilfully integrated into the monocoque's structure.Design: Floating Elements
Gerald Kiska's design studio can take credit for the shape of the vehicle. Coming from Salzburg, he has worked closely with KTM for the past 15 years and is entrusted not only with the design of the motorcycles, but also with the appearance of the company itself.
For the concept of the KTM brand's first automobile, Kiska incorporated many characteristics that are more closely associated with motorcycles than cars. Every part fulfils a function, the technology remains transparent, the form is noticeably simple. The few, orange-coloured body panels are 'floating elements', like those of motorcycles, and suggest lightness and simplicity.
The deliberate reduction in all things even includes the lights: simple headlamps, embedded indicators flush with the car's contours and round lights at the rear forego superficial, showy effects. Instead, the carbon structure also takes on design duties, meaning that components which are frequently hidden in cars, such as the silencer, suddenly serve an aesthetic purpose in addition to their usual functions.The Equipment: Puristic and Functional
As a result of its clear concept, the KTM X-Bow can do without a lot of elements that ordinarily add complexity and extra weight. So the narrow wind deflector makes an elaborate heating system and windscreen wipers unnecessary; doors are also not included in the design, due to the vehicle's low profile and the extra-low side profile.
You'll also look for a standard instrument panel in vain. The driver can find all the information needed for driving on the hub of the steering wheel.
The seats are further examples of the X-Bow's intelligent and simple construction: the shells for the driver's and passenger's seats are already integrated into the carbon fibre construction of the monocoque. An overlay provides solid comfort. In order to provide the best ergonomics for drivers of various heights, the X-Bow has manually adjustable pedals.
The KTM X-Bow doesn't have a luggage compartment. But it does feature an innovative, mobile storage box for the car documents. The equipment required by law, such as the warning triangle, first aid kit and a tyre-fit system, are kept in storage compartments beside the passenger's foot well. A cover is stowed in this same location; it protects the interior of the car when it's parked. Two helmets can be fixed in the passenger's legroom.Extras: for the Automobile and the Driver
Supplementary equipment – like kits to increase the engine's performance or an aerodynamics package – give the sporty potential of the KTM X-Bow an even greater boost.
Another segment of the accessories programme aims in the opposite direction: together with Dainese, the renowned Italian specialist for motorcycle apparel, a new line of clothing and helmets is being developed especially for the KTM X-Bow. These intelligent components are designed to assume functions that are normally performed by the car: weather protection, climate control and – thanks to integrated technology – even infotainment functions such as sound and mobile telephony.The Next Steps: Premiere in Geneva, Building a Pilot Series of 100 Únits
A prototype of the KTM X-Bow will make its first public appearance at the Geneva Motor Show. This prototype is also the basis for a pilot series of 100 units, which will be produced in Dallara's factory beginning at the end of 2007. The limited series is a result of the Italian company's manufacturing capacity: four to five vehicles can be built per week, with a large share of the work being done by hand.
Due to the special status of this pilot series, KTM has decided to equip all the vehicles of this initial production with a number of first-rate accoutrements, which will later be offered as extras. Included in the standard equipment for the first series are the limited-slip differential, lightweight metal rims with a central nut mounting, and a Formula One racing steering wheel that can be removed via a quick-release mechanism to simplify getting in and out of the car. The four body panels – lacquered orange on the prototypes – are made of carbon fibre in the pilot series (later they'll be made of synthetic material), and the chassis's damping elements are adjustable. And of course other individual equipment requests can also be fulfilled.
Because of the greater extent of the equipment range, the projected basic price of 40,000 Euros (incl. VAT) is naturally higher for an exemplar of this pilot series. A definitive price will be announced after the Geneva Motor Show. After the publication of the first drawings, the interest in the pilot series prototypes was overwhelming. Every spot on the list of prospective buyers was already filled in January, while the waiting list has got considerably longer.
The KTM X-Bow will be street homologated in accordance with European small series homologation regulations. But since the respective guidelines are defined differently throughout the EÚ, KTM currently anticipates standardising the X-Bow in the following countries: Germany, Finland, Greece, Great Britain, the Netherlands, Austria, Portugal and Switzerland.The Vision: Producing a Small Series Beginning in 2008
Depending upon the reactions to the vehicle presentation in Geneva, KTM is considering extending the pilot series of the X-Bow into small-series production. This small-series production would take place in Austria beginning in 2008 and entail an annual production of between 500 and 1000 vehicles. Parallel to this small-series production, an efficient distribution structure would also be established. The plan includes a network of around 15 to 20 partners throughout Europe, who not only have experience in motorsports, but also a connection to the Volkswagen enterprise.
A decision will be made concerning the small-series production of the KTM X-Bow by the end of April 2007.Source - KTM