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The KTM Barracuda Hydrofoil


January 15, 2009

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January 16, 2009 Austria’s KTM diversified from its competition off-road motorcycle core product with first it's razor-sharp road bike range, and more recently the X-Bow road-registerable racecar. There’s no doubt new markets are on the horizon and a recent design study has unearthed an interesting potential next stop for the company that prides itself on its machinery being “Ready to Race.” The KTM Barracuda Hydrofoil has been conceived as a circuit racing machine for the water. Extremely agile, yet designed to be self-stabilizing, the Barracuda takes the philosophy of the RC8 superbike and X-BOW sportscar to the water.

Sebastien Stassin, the project co-ordinator and a senior designer at KTM’s design consultancy KISKA, set design students at Graz’s Fachhochschule Joanneum the task of envisioning future forms and interpretations of the KTM design theme.

Not surprisingly (student design challenges are always rich sources of free-thinking), a number of extraordinary futuristic styling concepts have emerged from the competition with the barracuda hydrofoil the most left-field, and two superb reinterpretations of the four wheeled variety being the “AX offroad buggy”, and the “SR 85 deuce” electric racecar.

“Free thinking was the main objective,” Stassin explains. “The results are both spectacular and fascinating.

“All of us at KISKA and our colleagues at KTM are delighted with the innovation and breadth of open-mindedness. These students exhibit a genuinely thrilling vision of what might be in the KTM product portfolio in future decades. At this stage these concepts are simply design studies, and bear no real indication of future production models. But at KTM, we never say never!”

The AX offroad buggy

The AX is a radically styled off-road vehicle with technology to matchwhich draws on KTM’s success with both its off-road motorcycles and the road-going, minimalist X-BOW. With hybrid propulsion, four individually-steerable electric motors, huge ground clearance and reinforced tyres AX offers fantastic traction and agility.

The SR 85 Deuce

The SR 85 was envisioned as a street racer a decade into the future - as the project ran during 2008, the SR 85 Deuce is a street racer for the year 2018.

The designer theorised that race cars would be electric by then and hence make no noise. Accordingly, the opportunity exists for motorsport to be taken back to the population with small inner city racetracks similar to the way speedway once thrived in England due to its proximity to the masses.

The SR 85 Deuce is powered by four in-wheel high-torque electric motors and designed to dominate such short-course events.

About the Author
Mike Hanlon Mike grew up thinking he would become a mathematician, accidentally started motorcycle racing, got a job writing road tests for a motorcycle magazine while at university, and became a writer. As a travelling photojournalist during his early career, his work was published in a dozen languages across 20+ countries. He went on to edit or manage over 50 print publications, with target audiences ranging from pensioners to plumbers, many different sports, many car and motorcycle magazines, with many more in the fields of communication - narrow subject magazines on topics such as advertising, marketing, visual communications, design, presentation and direct marketing. Then came the internet and Mike managed internet projects for Australia's largest multimedia company, Telstra.com.au (Australia's largest Telco), Seek.com.au (Australia's largest employment site), top100.com.au, hitwise.com, and a dozen other internet start-ups before founding Gizmag in 2002. Now he writes and thinks. All articles by Mike Hanlon
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