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KTM's fixed-roof bowhunter

2011-08-29 09:56

WEATHER PROOF: Note the lack of A-pillars in the windscreen profile. Inboard fastened, pushrod controlled double-wishbone suspension visible too. Pure class.

Vehicle Specs
Manufacturer KTM
Model X-BOW R
Engine 2-litre turbo
Power 188kW
Torque 350Nm
Transmission Six-speed manual
Zero To Hundred 3.9 sec
There is no purer a performance automobile than one that is lightweight and roofless – and KTM’s X-Bow is one of the most desirable of these.

Unfortunately, for all the tactile quality of its steering feedback, and outstanding levels of rigidity, the X-Bow is a touch impractical as an ownership proposition, especially for owners in markets that suffer protracted (and severe) winters – such as those in Europe and North America...

The solution? Well, it’s an instance of bakkie logic: just add a canopy (of sorts).

MINI STRATOS?

Italian coachbuilder Montenergy has revealed its fixed-roof solution for X-Bow owners who have tired of having to lug a full-face motorcycle helmet along each time they wish to pop down to the local convenience store at half-time on a Saturday to replenish game-viewing snacks.

Although the X-Bow features a 70mm high deflector screen, it really is a bit much of a muchness, offering scant protection to occupants... Montenergy, though, now has two fixed-roof solutions on offer.

Both the concept test and display units carry KTM's blessing and Montenergy's expertise has been applied to the S3-powered "R" model only, for now...

The basic kit (retailing for the equivalent of R120 000) is called Montecarlo and adds a neatly integrated roof, which rather cleverly does not have A-pillars, thereby enabling an unobstructed view and crucially allows one to still pinpoint the X-Bow’s front wheels onto the perfect line (and clip apexes expertly) at trackday events.

For more than twice the price (around R320 000) Montenergy offers the Stratosferica option, crafted from carbon-fibre throughout (bar of course the see-through bits). Why pay so much more for the Stratosferica? Well, its styling (and configuration) trace the legendary Lancia Stratos in profile, proportion and detail – so if you are a classic Italian rally car anorak, you’ll probably find a way of justifying this outrageous conversion…

Although these Montenergy conversions make a lot of sense in principle, one is hardly going to go out for a spirited drive in (wet) conditions requiring all-weather roof protection – thereby largely vanquishing the entire point of the exercise. Especially as most X-Bow owners are sure to own a second vehicle too, one with a proper roof and doors…

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