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Hardcore KTM X-BOW GT-XR road-legal track car revealed

KTM is back with an Audi-powered, racecar-derived X-BOW GT-XR

Austrian firm KTM might be better known as a sports bike manufacturer, but since 2008 its X-BOW has made waves as one of the most extreme sports cars you can buy - and the new GT-XR is the latest version. 

The GT-XR is based on the new X-BOW GT2 race car so unsurprisingly it comes with some serious performance. Which is good, because at around £245,739, it’s much more expensive than a Dallara Stradale and more of a rival for the Lamborghini’s Huracan STO and new Porsche 911 GT3 RS

KTM says the X-BOW GT-XR is an “uncompromising super sports car” and this focus on making the GT-XR essentially a race car for the road means weight is kept to just 1,130kg. This low kerb weight is achieved through the use of carbon-fibre composites, a carbon monocoque and a relatively barren interior. 

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A turbocharged, 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine from Audi sitting in the middle of the body also helps keep the weight down. KTM has eked out a bit more power than the 395bhp unit found in the current RS 3 - this version develops 494bhp. Power is sent to the rear wheels exclusively through a seven-speed DSG gearbox and a mechanical limited-slip differential. 

The X-BOW GT-XR’s jet fighter canopy is arguably its most eye-catching feature. The canopy itself is constructed from a carbon frame so it can withstand roughly six times its own weight. Elsewhere, there are aluminium monoblock brake callipers and carbon bucket seats equipped with four-point harnesses for the full racecar effect. 

Outside we can see a larger splitter on the front, huge vents behind the front wheels, air intakes in front of the rear wheels, suspension that has been aerodynamically tweaked and a larger rear diffuser and wing towards the rear. 

Despite the clear track-focused nature of the X-BOW GT-XR, there are a few creature comforts inside. There’s a 160-litre boot to swallow up a helmet and some race overalls, plus air-conditioning, a rear-view camera, two USB-C connections and Bluetooth connectivity.

Now check out our list of the best sports cars...

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Senior news reporter

A keen petrol-head, Alastair Crooks has a degree in journalism and worked as a car salesman for a variety of manufacturers before joining Auto Express in Spring 2019 as a Content Editor. Now, as our senior news reporter, his daily duties involve tracking down the latest news and writing reviews.

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