Posted Feb 27th 2013 2:00PM
Being a purist is hard work. That's true with just about everything, but it's particularly true when it comes to lightweight roadsters. Jettisoning all manner of refinements including sound deadening, ride compliance and weather protection makes for a more vivid motoring experience, but it also demands a lot more of the driver. As diehard enthusiasts, we're all for that kind of compromise, but if you're on the retailing end, offering such uncompromising, narrowcast cars as the KTM X-Bow has a way of narrowing one's buying audience.
Enter the new KTM X-Bow GT, which adds at least a thin veneer of refinement to the spindly trackday hero in the form of a windshield and side glass. The standard X-Bow, you'll recall, makes do with but a sliver of a wind blocker – the sort of assembly that doesn't keep the bugs out of your teeth, let alone the rain and chill away from your body. So even if it doesn't look quite as racy, this new X-Bow GT should improve the car's long-distance livability and add a few more driving days to the season. It will even be available with heated front and side glass and, luxury of luxuries, a windshield wiper/washer system. Still no word of a top of any sort, however.
The GT is based on the X-Bow R, which relies on a version Audi's ubiquitous 2.0-litre turbo four. In this tune, the engine is said to be good for 285 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. For the moment, KTM isn't releasing any performance, pricing or availability information, but we should know more when we see the car unveiled at next week's Geneva Motor Show.