Whether a super sports or race car: the faster a car is, the safer it has to be. To meet the highest safety standards while implementing a reliable lightweight construction, the experts from KTM and KISKA got creative during the development and design of the KTM X-BOW GT-XR1. The result is one of the safest street legal vehicles around.

“If you want to push yourself to the limit on the racetrack, you need absolute trust in your car”, says Reinhard Kofler, test and development driver at KTM. “This sense of safety is also extremely important on the road – especially when you are traveling a little faster. The cockpit of the KTM X-BOW GT-XR is designed in such a way that you immediately feel safe. It not only conveys this feeling but is also proven to be one of the safest passenger compartments ever built. The intensive development work and the specific selection of materials have paid off here.”

1 Fuel consumption combined (WLTP): 9.1 l/100 km, CO₂ emissions combined (WLTP): 214 g/km, emissions classification: EURO 6D

The material of choice for the high-safety passenger cell is carbon fibre composite, commonly known as carbon. It combines the most important properties to build an extremely light and at the same time stable cockpit. On the one hand, carbon is very strong and stiff and therefore extremely resilient, on the other hand it is ultra-light. The perfect combination to build a super sportscar. It also has another invaluable advantage: it can be made into almost any shape imaginable.

The carbon monocoque, with its broad sides, high shoulders and a high back, is shaped in such a way that it almost completely encapsules the driver and passenger. The effectiveness of this concept has, among other methods, been successfully demonstrated in side crash tests. In addition, the carbon monocoque offers optimal protection in case of a rollover. This is also ensured by the electrically powered jet fighter canopy, which weighs only around 50 kilograms and can withstand a pressure of up to eleven metric tons. With a permissible total weight of 1,600 kilograms, this corresponds to around seven times the car’s weight. After an accident, the canopy can also be opened mechanically from the outside with a safety mechanism. If, in the unlikely event of a rollover, the jet fighter canopy cannot be opened, the cockpit can be easily exited via the side doors built into the canopy – even if the vehicle is lying on its roof.

Sit down in the bucket seats of the KTM X-BOW GT-XR and strap in with the heavy-duty four-point harness seat belts to be firmly connected to the safety cell. The carbon bucket seats not only offer the driver and front passenger a firm grip in every driving situation, but also give them reliable feedback on the road conditions. And the adjustable seat belts hold the occupants tightly in place even in extreme situations.

Electronic systems such as the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and the electronic stability program (ESP) provide support so that the vehicle can always be controlled even in such extreme situations. However, unlike in conventional cars, these systems are tuned for absolute performance with the greatest possible safety. Both driving aids are perfectly adapted to the characteristics of the car and use on the road and the racetrack. Thousands of test kilometres were completed in Germany, Spain and Sweden under a wide variety of conditions for this set-up. The extent to which the ESP intervenes can also be adjusted by the driver. Two modes are available: in sports mode, it intervenes comparatively gently and ensures maximum safety on the road. In performance mode, it offers optimal performance developed on the racetrack with less intervention in the event of wheel spin.

The ABS is likely to kick in when the Brembo braking system is pushed to the max. The lightweight aluminium monoblock fixed-caliper piston brake with eight pistons per caliper on the front axle and four pistons per caliper on the rear ensures that the super sportscar is decelerated rapidly, to come to a standstill in front of obstacles for example.

If, in exceptional circumstances, a frontal collision cannot be avoided, the fastest road-legal KTM vehicle on four wheels offers another safety feature: the front crash box. In the event of a collision, the crash box compresses and absorbs the kinetic energy from the impact. This has a similar stopping effect as a conventional crumple zone in conventional cars. The energy is absorbed to protect the occupants. The development, which, like the carbon monocoque, is based on safety features from motorsports such as Formula 1, has proven itself in frontal crash tests in which the car with a maximum allowed total weight hits a concrete wall at a speed of 50 km/h.

The KTM X-BOW GT-XR is available immediately from EUR 299,150 (excl. local taxes and import duties). Thanks to the European small-volume production authorisation, the vehicle is available and road-legal across the continent.