Oh look, a new brand for us all to explore!
KTM are mainly bike makers, from Austria. But then once, out of nowhere, they decided to make the X-Bow, a lightweight mad car like none before…
Most lightweight mad cars are effectively cars stripped to their bare bones. They’re absolutely miniscule. You probably couldn’t even get my 5’7″ frame in a couple of them. Or shorter. And certainly some of them wouldn’t fit my lanky 6’4″ mate.
The X-Bow is rather different in that it has some actual structure in addition to all the other car bits. So therefore it looks more sensible. Not that you could really call it that.
Indeed, while it is heavier than most super-lightweight cars at 790kg, it’s still really damn light. And backing up this street model is a 237bhp engine, a turbocharged 2.0 straight-4 affair from Audi. Hey, why don’t they fit that to one of their bikes?! Surely 2000cc is viable on those things…in my mind.
However, some lightweight cars haven’t quite worked out the way they’ve meant to in Gran Turismo. The Caterham Seven Fireblade is the one that comes to mind mainly – where its engine fails to rev properly and so therefore it ends up far slower than it should. Something tells me though that it might be fixed for this game…I’ll wait and see.
Some though, have ended up working just fine – overshooting the mark even. One example of that is the Suzuki GSX-R/4, which is very much relatable to the X-Bow through motorbiking backgrounds and body style…except the Suzuki is 11 years older than this X-Bow.
The GSX-R/4 spectacularly overshot the mark in GT4. Even to start with it was a fast fucker, but then you gave it a full tune…and it could do nigh on anything. Even the Like the Wind race in GT4 was winnable in it, with a fair bit of nitro, luck and…er, wind. In GT5 its stock and full tune forms were nerfed quite seriously, but it was now on par arguably with its real form.
So, where does the X-Bow fall into? Well, I think it falls just about into the realistic side, but only just. It does feel slightly slower than it should. But is it fast to begin with?
…Not really, no.
Nor is it very lively. Even an MR layout can’t seem to make it snap too much, but then it doesn’t feel very free in terms of driving anyway. It’s far too constrained, and I dare say that a more barebones lightweight wouldn’t suffer from this problem as much…
The sound is also quite dull too. It’s really little more than just a weak buzz. It’s only a straight-4 yes, but it’s meant to sound threatening in this form. Come on man.
I’m disappointed in this one. I even suggested it to fellow reviewer McClarenDesign as the first car for his Car of the Week series. But I suspect he won’t think much of it either. But, for the X-Bow, there might be something of a wild card…
This was only the Street version of the X-Bow. It might have failed to win me over here, but the more powerful R version, whose PP seems to tout it into the big supercar level, might be more successful. The R has the same weight, but is upped to 296bhp, which means it really should be an actual rocketship, unlike the Street which seems fast and duly fails to deliver.
Plus I think some improvement could be done of the name. Though they didn’t know it in 2008, if we take the X-Bow by its incorrectly referred name of “Crossbow” (yuck) then it sounds like something from Black Ops. The Crossbow in that game was a fun thing. But then the Ballistic Knife was too…so is that the name of the smaller KTM model?
Indeed, if I wanted to name a car after an actual weapon, I’d probably go with Laser Blade. (Not Lightsaber because Lucasarts would then call for my head) And that’s a lot stronger than a crossbow, that’s for sure. So it’ll be a damn sight faster than this, too.