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KTM readies off-road car (2008)

Published: 11 January 2008

CAR Online was yesterday granted an interview with KTM Sportcars managing director Michael Landl who revealed that the Austrian firm, buoyed by the strong pre-orders for its £37,000 X-Bow track car, was planning to build an off-road, four-wheel drive competition vehicle.

Although still very much on the drawing board at this stage, such a project would prove an ideal complement for KTM’s rugged off-road bikes – the niche that defined the brand pre X-Bow – and allow the company to enter both the motorbike and four-wheel drive categories at the Paris Dakar endurance rally held every January. Indeed, Landl confirmed that such a pairing was a distinct possibility and said that motorsport was his preferred method of targeting potential customers for all KTM products.

Landl also talked candidly about the firm’s decision to broaden its horizons. ‘Like all motorbike manufacturers, our customer base is shrinking,’ he told CAR Online. ‘Eventually we hope cars will represent 25-30 percent of our turnover.’

Meanwhile, the X-Bow project becomes ever more ambitious. As well as offering the 2.0-litre turbocharged engine shared with the Audi TT in three different states of tune, Landl confirmed that a 300bhp version using the Audi S3 powerplant would be with us in two years.

By Ben Barry

Contributing editor, sideways merchant, tyre disintegrator

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