Having trouble conjuring up an image of the KTM X-Bow in your head? You’re likely not to blame — the lightweight, track-biased, kartlike supercar hasn’t made a formal appearance on roads in the United States since it was introduced in Europe over two years ago. Regardless, the mad Austrian geniuses behind the X-Bow have announced an even more powerful version is in the pipeline: the X-Bow R.
The X-Bow (read: cross-bow) R will ratchet up the astonishingly tactile performance delivered by the stock X-Bow, which weighs 1750 pounds and features a 240-horsepower 2.0-liter four cylinder engine sourced from Volkswagen. The upgraded engine will mimic the performance of the Audi S3, and will increase horsepower to an even 300. KTM claims that lower engine positioning will also produce flatter, more refined handling.
To further boost the X-Bow’s performance, KTM will offer a strictly track-based option package as well as a road-legal package. The X-Bow R shown here is testing at the Nürburgring, bedecked in full race-spec. While no specs were released, we have to imagine that the R moniker will dial up white-hot performance from the X-Bow. For some perspective, Motor Trend clocked a 3.9 second 0-to-60 mph time for the 240-horse X-Bow.
Unfortunately, the Austrian brand still has no plans to offer the X-Bow or the X-Bow R for street-legal sale in the United States, but are available for import as track models. But unless you’re a dedicated racer, you’ll have to admire the X-Bow from afar, or enjoy the 2.0-liter four’s performance in the shell of an existing Volkswagen or Audi product.