A number of months ago during Top Marques Monaco 2013, we had the chance to drive the KTM X-Bow GT. The route we drove was the Monaco Grand Prix track. It wasn’t a normal day though, people lined the streets of the tiny principality thanks to top-class attractions including the Monaco Masters Tennis Tournament and Top Marques. Ask us to drive a track focused car in busy Monte Carlo and we say: Challenge Accepted!
The KTM X-Bow GT was initially previewed at the Geneva Motor Show 2013. It includes many of the specifications seen on previous KTM X-Bow’s including the carbon fiber monocoque, Recaro sports seats, Audi switchgear and a four point safety harness.
The KTM X-Bow GT gets a set of evolutionary updates that allow a more comfortable experience for owners. The update most notably adds a windshield and doors. In an effort to not intrude on the front section of the car too much, KTM have fitted a near vertical windscreen rather than a low-slung one which certainly complements the boxy shape of the KTM X-Bow. The KTM already looked like a mean little insect but when you open the doors it had miniature wings too!
Under the hood, the KTM X-Bow GT features Audi’s turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit delivering an impressive 281 hp and 309 lb-ft of torque. All this power is sent to the rear wheels via a traditional six-speed manual transmission and mechanical limited-slip differential. When combined with a light curb weight of just 1,867 pounds, the KTM X-Bow GT can sprint to 100 km/h in just 4.1 seconds and onto a claimed top speed of 143 mph. Our test car was fitted with Michelin stock road tires, which measure 205/40 R 17 at the front and 255/35 R18 at the rear. The KTM X-Bow GT can pull 1.5g of lateral acceleration!
The Monaco traffic didn’t allow us to use all the power but a little sprint into the tunnel was enough to say the car is really fast! Through the windshield, the experience is a little bit less than before but still the car gives you a thrill when driving it. The setting of the brakes was changed for the circumstances, so the bite was a little bit early compared to the normal setting. This setting also caused a really hard beep while braking.
While driving up the hill towards the casino a little traffic jam came up. Like every car with a manual gear box it is uncomfortable to drive slowly upon a hill while stopping multiple times. But in this, track focused, car it wasn’t really harder to keep it running without rolling back. The clutch was a little bit heavy, but not too heavy. Also the steering is not the easiest job when driving slow but it isn’t the worst either!
This test drive was not about testing the car to the limit. It was about testing its behaviour in the city. While driving between the normal cars, the little mirrors are enough to stay in contact with your surroundings, but reverse parking is a hell of a job. The Monte Carlo people love the KTM, thumbs up and a big smile are frequent reactions, especially while we drove it in front of the Monte Carlo casino where Ferrari and Lamborghini’s are the usual ingredients.