KTM has a good grasp of its strengths and weaknesses -- when it came time to power up this high-priced go-kart, it went to Audi for the engine and drivetrain rather than attempt to develop their own. The Audi 2.0-liter turbo direct-injected powerplant mates to a 6-speed manual transmission. It all adds up to 240 horsepower, which delivers 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in just 3.9 seconds. So, let's get this out of the way up front: Yes, this engine and transmission combo can be obtained at any VW dealership in the United States, already installed in a fully-equipped street-legal passenger car, for roughly a third of the cost of the X-Bow. But then, you'd be an average car shopper. And even though VWs and Audis are jolly fun on a track, wouldn't you rather be there with a mischievous little X-Bow?
Most of the car's pep can be attributed to its size and weight. All those "missing" features -- like doors, a roof, a windshield, a trunk and cabin creature comforts -- were trimmed with the goal of saving pounds and ounces. And 240 horses can get up and go a lot faster when they've got a smaller cart to pull. British Racing Group also notes that its emissions and fuel economy -- about 39 miles per gallon (16.6 kilometers per liter) -- are similar to those of a small passenger car.
The carbon-fiber cockpit and aluminum underbody ride on double triangular wishbone suspension from supplier WP Suspension. The tires are 17 inches (43.2 centimeters) in front and 18 inches (45.7 centimeters) in the back, mounted on wheels with aerodynamic plastic composite covers. Below the rollers sit Brembo disc brakes, 12 inches (30.5 centimeters) in front and 10.3 inches (26.2 centimeters) in back, which allow the X-Bow to slow from 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) to a full stop in just 108 feet (32.9 meters) [source: KTM X-Bow].
The X-Bow is available in a few different trims to suit individual racing needs. The least uncomfortable option is the Street model, and from there, each additional trim level shaves a few ounces of curb weight while adding high-end race accoutrements (like racing harnesses, top-of-the-line suspension components and the ever-sobering fire extinguisher). A complete X-Bow in Street trim (including drivetrain) is expected to total about $95,000 in the United States.
Want to brush up on your driving skills before your new X-Bow arrives? The next page will pave the road for more racing and high-end car insight.