We’d heard rumors of KTM’s desire to bring its radical X-Bow (pronounced cross-bow) to the U.S. starting in 2008. Three years later, the track toy is finally on sale in the U.S. — but don’t expect to see one on the road, or even at a KTM bike dealer near you.
Importation of the barebones track toy will apparently be handled not by the Austrian powersports company that builds the X-Bow, but instead by British Racing Group LLC, a small operation that apparently specializes in importing and selling small, specialty sports/race cars.
From what we can tell, BRG plans on offering all five X-Bow trim levels to interested U.S. buyers. Those looking for a semi-civilized ride may prefer the so-called Street model, but buyers looking for a hardcore, race-ready machine can spring for the Clubsport, Superlight, GT4, ROC, and R models, which strip additional weight from the car while fitting it with race gear including fully-adjustable dampers, an engine kill switch, 6-point harnesses, and a fire extinguisher. Performance won’t be lacking — when paired with a 240-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 sourced from VW/Audi, which allows the carbon fiber tub-on-wheels to rocket from 0-62 mph in under 3.9 seconds.
So, is it street legal? That remains to be seen. Like other small sports car manufacturers (Caterham, for example), BRG plans on classifying the X-Bow with the NHTSA and EPA as a so-called special construction vehicle — or in other words, a kit car. X-Bows will be imported sans engine or gearbox in order to meet that classification, although each will be set up for the aforementioned 2.0-liter turbo-four. If your state is amicable to allowing such vehicles to be registered for road use, you may be in luck — especially because the VW/Audi 2.0T is already offered in federalized forms.
Pricing and availability have yet to be formally announced, but a company representative revealed on the Lotus Talk forums that a complete Street-spec car with powertrain will likely run buyers in the neighborhood of $95,000.
Source: British Racing Group, Lotus Talk