Quiz: Inside the KTM X-Bow


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About This Quiz

The eagerly anticipated KTM X-Bow has managed to pierce the heart of casual car fans and serious racers on both sides of the Atlantic. This go-kart boasts a bragging list a quarter-mile long, but how much information can you drop into conversation?

First things first. The car blogs will tell you almost everything you need to know about the KTM X-Bow, except perhaps this: how do you actually pronounce the car's name?

It's pronounced "crossbow." In the event that you actually make a phone call to order one… well, we saved you some embarrassment. You're welcome.

The X-Bow is the first car from motorcycle maker KTM, and its European heritage is a considerable factor in its appeal (at least according to stateside car bloggers). Where is KTM based?

KTM's two-and four-wheeled speed machines hail from Austria.

KTM designed the X-Bow to be a competitive track car, and like all race-worthy vehicles, some traditional parts had to be removed in order to save weight, make room for other accessories, or simply keep the car (and driver) focused on the road. But the X-Bow's list of features reads more like a motorcycle than a car. Which of the following elements does the X-Bow NOT have?

Clearly, this car was designed by serious sportbikers. Who else would be unfazed by a lack of a windshield at triple-digit speeds?

Yes, in some ways it's kind of stripped down, but there's plenty of go-fast goodies to provide amusement, too. The X-Bow features which of the following elements?

The X-Bow's instrument cluster was swiped straight from KTM's bike parts bin. Buyers can rest assured that it's been extensively tested and perfected for open-air, all-weather conditions.

So, let's say that you've got a need for speed and some serious cash to spend. You're excited that the X-Bow's finally being sold in the United States, but who do you need to contact to get one?

Though KTM once considered exporting the X-Bow to the United States, the effort has been abandoned. X-Bows will be available through a specialty importer called British Racing Group, LLC.

Why is importing a X-Bow such a complicated procedure?

Laws vary by state, but generally, the X-Bow is not considered road-safe on U.S. soil. To avoid legal issues, it's classified as a kit car, which British Racing Group says is intended for track use.

The X-Bow does NOT have which of the following elements?

This is why serious drivers stay in seriously good shape. You'll get a great thigh workout slowing the X-Bow to a stop without power assistance!

The X-Bow features which of the following components?

KTM thoughtfully squeezed a second shell seat into the cockpit to accommodate your lucky companion. High-speed bug splats should be a shared experience.

How long has the X-Bow been available in Europe?

The X-Bow was released in 2008, and demand was so great that production was increased from 500 to 1,000 cars per year.

How much horsepower does the X-Bow have?

The VW/Audi engine is listed at 240 horsepower.

Which of the following elements does the X-Bow NOT have?

The tub-like cockpit doesn't have any doors, but if it's any consolation, KTM promises the carbon-fiber side splitters can support your weight as you climb up, over and in.

The X-Bow features which of the following elements?

Brakes are a crucial feature of any race car, and the X-Bow is no exception. Its stopping power comes courtesy of big ol' Brembos and your own muscular legs.

The European press says the X-Bow's engine and transmission come from Volkswagen, but in the United States, it's marketed with Audi parts. Which continent is getting the shaft?

Volkswagen is Audi's parent company. The automakers share engineering and development resources, and as a result, the car lineups often have common components. So as far as the X-Bow is concerned, it doesn't really matter. However, Audi is perceived (and marketed) as significantly more prestigious in the United States.

What kind of transmission does the X-Bow have?

The X-Bow is designed with VW/Audi's six-speed manual transmission.

Which of the following elements does the X-Bow NOT have?

Once you're settled in, you've gotta bring the controls to you. The seats are fixed within the cockpit, and the controls telescope to reach the driver.

The X-Bow features which of the following elements?

The exhaust, which is a KTM bike component, doubles as a key structural element of the X-Bow. Its placement helps protect the driver from the impact of a rear-end collision.

What is the X-Bow's 0 to 62-mile per hour (100-kilometer per hour) time?

KTM says that the X-Bow can achieve 62 miles per hour (100 kilometers per hour) in just 3.9 seconds. However, they provide no specs on the number of bugs that'll be smashed on your helmet's visor.

According to a "Motor Trend" magazine review of the 2010 X-Bow, what can a racer expect from the X-Bow's suspension?

Paul Horrell wrote, in a 2009 review of the X-Bow, that the suspension is firm but "very civilized," absorbing road roughness better than expected.

There's a benefit, from a racing perspective, to the X-Bow's lack of windshield. What is it (aside from the reduced weight)?

Without a roof and windshield, the A-pillar (the column at the front of the cockpit in a typical car) is not necessary. Removing this pillar allows better front and peripheral views of the road and surroundings.

Tempted yet? Here's the last question: How much can you expect to shell out to get an X-Bow in your garage?

It'll cost about $95,000 total to obtain the kit car package from British Racing Group and the drivetrain components from another supplier.

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