Having established itself as a respected maker of off-road and competition motorcycles, it dipped its toes more deeply into the road bike market with some predictably hard-edged, high performance models.
However, the slow but relentless decline in the number of motorcycle licences across Europe spurred the firm on to try its engineering hand at building a four-wheeler.
The result is the KTM X-Bow, a roofless, two seat mid-engined sports car designed for road and track, which drives it firmly into the virtual paddock occupied by the Ariel Atom, Lotus 2-Eleven and various Caterhams. But it is so outlandish in its design that, even next to the established track-day-inspired oddballs, it looks like it's from another planet.
Much of the KTM X-Bow is carbonfibre, and it comes either in black, black and white or black and orange, the trademark colour scheme of its makers. It's powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre TFSI engine from Audi, complete with six-speed gearbox.
Structurally, the core of the KTM is an immensely strong carbonfibre tub, much of it exposed. It’s also possible to specify ancillary bodywork in matching carbonfibre. The body generates up to around 200kg of downforce at 124mph and it’s suspended by pushrod-actuated double wishbone suspension.
There’s not much creature comfort inside, but the sliding pedal platform is brilliant and combines with a four-way adjustable wheel. A hard-to-read LCD instrument pack sits between the twin cowls of the facia, while the controls for its trip computer and lap-timer sit on the steering wheel along with the indicators, horn and headlight flashers.
And of course the KTM X-Bow is predictably fast, not to mention huge fun. It's also unexpectedly refined, with a supple ride, relatively muted exhausts and a body remarkable free of vibration.
Three variants are offered: the GT, R and RR. The GT is the more road-focused variant, with a wraparound windscreen featuring integral heating elements, a wiper, windscreen washers and even portable clip-on sun visors.
The GT model is powered by a 281bhp, 310lb ft four-cylinder engine, which sends its power to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual gearbox and LSD. KTM claims 0-62mph in 4.1sec and a top speed of 144mph.