Low-slung, broad-shouldered and aggressive: the KTM X-BOW GT-XR is a statement of intent in automotive form. Its design, masterminded by the KISKA agency, is as unique as it is breathtaking. The jet-inspired looks are not the only special feature of the soon-to-be-launched KTM super sportscar.
For most people, sportscars and super sportscars are more than simply a means of getting from A to B. They stand for unbridled freedom, the thrill of the road and the joy of driving – and stunning design too, of course. “The car has to give you an impression of adventure, both when you look at it and when you’re behind the wheel,” says Wojtek Bachleda, senior designer at design and brand agency KISKA. Bachleda and his team worked together closely with KTM to come up with the pure design of the KTM GT-XR.
The design process was a challenge that the 42-year-old rose to immediately. “What makes the KTM X-BOW GT-XR so fascinating to me is the underlying philosophy,” he continues. “It’s a racing car first, on the basis of which a road-going version has been developed and not the other way round. This isn’t a car to head into town now and again, it’s something that was born on the racetrack and likes to be driven accordingly. It’s just an incredible machine where performance supersedes everything else. This approach was a key part of the design.”
The design team had almost complete freedom to implement this philosophy, with the sole focus on performance and efficiency. “We started with a blank sheet of paper and took our inspiration from the F35 Lighting fighter jet, among other things,” Bachleda explains. “The sharp edges and dynamic form falls almost perfectly in line with KTM’s design language. The panoramic view from the cockpit with all of the unusual details were fascinating to us.”
But how to go about adapting the design of a fighter jet to fit a super sports car that is fit for the road? “Right from the start it was in the back of our mind that our design had to work for both a racing car and a road car. The KTM X-BOW GT-XR shares many qualities with the racing car – the carbon monocoque, for instance, is identical. The outer shell is different, as it requires more design elements to create an exciting overall appearance.” These elements are reflected in the sharp, triangular shapes.
“The KTM’s design is very angular and is reflected throughout the machine, for instance in the side profile too,” says Bachleda. “There is one main line from the front to the rear and a second line emanating from the middle of the car and moving towards the rear. That gives the whole car a very dynamic look. The “jet fighter canopy” only adds to this overall impression. It is a single-piece element and has a really clever opening mechanism, another reflection of the jet’s design.” Bachleda’s team kept things simple and dynamic at the rear, too. The rear end is open to transport heat out of the engine and to prevent any turbulent air at the back of the car. The result is a spectacular rear profile.
When asked what kind of effect the super sportscar has on him, the eyes of the designer who hails from Zakopane, Poland, light up: “The finish is stunning. The car looks like it was cast out of a single piece of material. Everything has this metallic but at the same time soft carbon-fibre appearance. The same materials have been used in the road car, creating an extremely attractive and minimalistic appearance. Alongside the inspiration and challenges, it was also our aim to make the car look like a GT car at the front and an LMP car from the rear. I think we did a fantastic job.”