Absolutely wicked!

Andrew Hopkins

Porsche 911, BMW M3, Audi R8: up to now, these names were virtually synonymous with 'sports car'. But not any more, because it turns out that these are all vehicles designed to be driven by softies and people who have taken early retirement.

In the X-Bow, KTM have come up with a rocket-on-wheels that puts all the other marques in the shade. It's not particularly the X-Bow's basic performance statistics that moves it into a league of its own – though 0 to 100km in 3.9 seconds is respectable enough – but rather the sheer brutality of the overall concept.

KTM have ruthlessly dispensed with all those features that we expect from a car of the 21st century: windscreen, doors, upholstered seats, air-conditioning or even electronic aids – it hasn't got any. If you're someone who pushes your car to the limits, you have to be able to hack it with the KTM, otherwise you're in for a crash landing. And if you're really pushing things to the limit, you'll certainly won't think twice about shelling out over €50,000 for the basic version.

So far in my life, I've always been quite partial to Porsches. But now I come to think of it, I can drive one of those when I'm picking up my pension. In the meantime, I reckon I might just go for a 'proper' sports car.