Up until now, the fastest lap around the Nordschleife by a KTM X-BOW was 8.10 minutes, set in 2009 with a 237bhp ‘Club Sport’. That’s slower than a big lardy Renault Megane 265 Trophy, so KTM decided to ‘correct’ this oversight and find out what their Austrian sports car could really achieve.

This time KTM wheeled out their 355bhp X-BOW RR, the car that serves as the basis for drivers competing in the official KTM racing series – X-BOW Battle. Despite its track-ready chassis and more powerful engine (than the standard 296bhp X-BOW R), the car is homologated for road use and was fitted with Pilot Sport Cup street tyres by Michelin.

Behind the wheel was Christophe Haase, who in 2008 won the GT4 European Championship in the KTM X-BOW GT. He’s also a class winner of the Nürburgring 24 Hours, so knows his way around the challenging 14.173 mile circuit.

With just two laps available to conjure up the perfect time, Haase set out on a cold windy autumn afternoon and on his second flying lap was timed at 7:25.72 minutes in the 780kg X-BOW RR.

Even so, Haase feels there’s still plenty of room for improvement, “We had a lot of wind and very little grip – but we have to hold something back for next year, don’t we? I’m thrilled with the car. The Audi engine is also a stunner that offers any amount of torque. But the rest of the car is also great.

“The suspension works perfectly and you notice that the XBOW is lighter than most other cars when you go into every corner. This makes twice as much sense on the technically demanding Nordschleife! In any case the lap time is amazing. I think it shows how good the X-BOW really is because the Nordschleife doesn’t allow for any random good lap times. It’s always very tough, whenever you’re here.”