KTM Crossbow (2007): first official pictures

Published: 04 January 2007

KTM Crossbow: the lowdown

The world's biggest off-road motorbike manufacturer, KTM, is branching out into extreme sports cars. These first sketches of the Crossbow reveal Austria's answer to the Ariel Atom: a flyweight two-seater powered by a 220bhp Audi engine. 'It's a kind of Lotus Super Seven for the 21st century,' KTM's engineering boss told CAR Online. 'It's radically modern, very light and extremely fast.' We would be inclined to agree; it might max out at a lukewarm 136mph, but the Crossbow will scuttle to 60mph in just 3.8sec. Thank a kerbweight somewhere south of 700kg for such electrifying performance.

Tell me more. How is the KTM Crossbow built?

KTM has used its know-how building lightweight but sturdy off-road motorbikes to full effect with the Crossbow. A carbonfibre monocoque ensures flex-free rigidity and low mass, while the Audi TT's direct-injection 2.0-litre lump is mounted transversely just ahead of the rear wheels for poised weight distribution. The two passengers are sandwiched by twin rear-mounted radiators, and VW's DSG twin-clutch gearbox will be offered. Suspension is by double wishbones all round.

Sounds good. When can I buy a KTM Crossbow?

The first cars will arrive later this year, but full production won't get underway until 2008. Prices haven't been set yet, but expect to pay around £37,000. KTM has plans for even faster versions in the future. The blown Audi engine is easy to tune and engineers told us that a 320bhp version was in the pipeline. Rapid doesn't even begin to describe the prospect.

Looks like the Crossbow will be a good drive then?

Make no mistake, KTM's baby roadster will be a focused driver's device. Niceties such as a roof, doors, windscreen, heater and electronic driving aids are conspicuous by their absence, so this will be more of a weekend track-day toy than everyday transport. There aren't even any seats, for heaven's sake. The two passengers nestle in gel-padded buckets which are built into the monocoque. For further details on the KTM Crossbow, read the full story in the new February 2007 issue of CAR Magazine, on sale now.

By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet

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