New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

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).


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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