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Here Is a Ridiculously Lightweight Track-Only Supercar From a Motorcycle Manufacturer


By Alex Nishimoto, Automobile

More than 12 years ago, Austrian motorcycle builder KTM launched its first-ever car, the KTM X-Bow (pronounced "crossbow"). Since then, the X-Bow has quietly offered track junkies a lightweight, hyper-minimalist—and Audi-powered—option. But if you thought the X-Bow was just a one-off experiment to see if the Graz-based bikemaker could build a car, think again. The brand recently unveiled its new X-Bow GTX, a closed-cockpit supercar it hopes to sell to track warriors and homologate for competition in the reborn GT2 class.


The X-Bow GTX certainly looks the part of a supercar, with its low-slung nose, sizable front splitter and rear diffuser, and bulging fenders. It also appears to have a longer wheelbase than the original X-Bow and X-Bow GT4, the enclosed customer race car based on the X-Bow and homologated for the popular GT4 class (and which we've packed into a gallery below). But like the first KTM X-Bow, the GTX is powered by an Audi-sourced engine—this time the turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder of the TT RS tuned to produce more than 600 horsepower in GT2 spec. 


That's a lot of power for any car, but it's especially excessive in a car that weighs just over 2,200 pounds (before Balance of Performance measures are applied). That means the KTM GTX has 1 horsepower for every 4.4 pounds of its stated curb weight.

Why create a car with such an extreme power-to-weight ratio? KTM's ultimate goal is to earn homologation approval from the SRO, the sanctioning body that regulates professional GT racing, to allow the GTX to compete in the new GT2 class, which currently only has two options: the Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport and Audi R8 LMS GT2. Reintroduced last year, the GT2 class was designed for cars faster and more powerful than GT3-spec racers. But despite the huge wing and ground effects you see on the KTM X-Bow GTX, GT2 cars actually run less aero than the GT3s.


What else can you do with a KTM X-Bow GTX besides campaign it in one of the series adopting the new GT2 specification? KTM makes no mention of a road-going version of the GTX, but plans to launch a single-make Cup series for the car in 2021. Pricing and full technical details will be announced soon, and if all goes according to plan, the GTX will make its racing debut this fall.

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Unplugged Magazine: Here Is a Ridiculously Lightweight Track-Only Supercar From a Motorcycle Manufacturer
Here Is a Ridiculously Lightweight Track-Only Supercar From a Motorcycle Manufacturer
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