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Car and Driver: KTM Will Sell X-Bow Sports Car Stateside, but Won’t Be Street Legal


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KTM X-Bow

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The rumors are true: KTM will sell its hot X-Bow sports car to interested parties in North America come 2017. Unfortunately, those interested parties will not be able to drive the Audi-powered car on public roadways. 

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In an e-mail, KTM’s marketing and PR manager, Manfred Wolf, wrote to us that the much-reported North American X-Bow will be a “race/track use only” vehicle. The Austrian brand has no plans to sell a street-legal version of the vehicle. Per Wolf, KTM is very aware of the fact that the X-Bow’s lack of ABS and airbags (among other issues) means making the car street legal in our market is near impossible.

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Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you’ll never see an X-Bow on the street. It can be imported as a street-legal kit car; however, to do so, buyers must purchase the vehicle and engine separately, and do the installation themselves or pay to have it done.

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While the X-Bow is a distinctive looking vehicle with an attention-grabbing design that could sell well in image-conscious areas of the country like Miami and Los Angeles, its stellar handling and lack of creature comforts makes it a far better track car than road car. In setting up a North American subsidiary for X-Bow sales, KTM can now sell its track demon directly to customers interested in utilizing it for its intended purpose—engine intact. That engine is an Audi-supplied 2.0-liter four-cylinder, and its presence is part of what tied up the company’s plans to sell the X-Bow stateside, as KTM needed Audi to agree to its North American sales plan.

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In the brand’s base R model that engine makes 300 horsepower, a hefty sum given that the vehicle weighs some 1700 pounds. In Europe, it sells for €74,900, or about $85,000 at current exchange rates. While KTM hasn’t released official information about the U.S.-bound X-Bow, the vehicle is expected to “be more ‘racy’, better equipped, and quicker” than the bottom-of-the-barrel R. WardsAuto reports that approximately 15 X-Bows are will make their way to North America by spring 2017, with annual sales expected to reach as many as 40 cars per year.

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