Sure, Specialized may have turned a few heads with their overpowered-for-the-US e-bike a couple months ago, but this prototype by Audi puts it to shame.
Following the car manufacturer’s purchase of Ducati, they’ve released this carbon fiber monster built with carbon-thermoplastic wheels that weigh in at a claimed 600g each. The effect of the lightweight wheels is enhanced with an inverted single crown fork (less unsprung mass), and the whole thing is driven by 2.3 kilowatt-max (3.1hp) motor with 250Nm (184 ft-lbs)of torque. As Stuff points out, that’s more torque than a Mazda 6 or VW Jetta.
Max speed is claimed at 80km/h (~50mph), but delivery is metered out only up to 50km/h in full electric, the rest of that speed needs to come from you. Consider this the human-assist electric bike if you wanna go really fast. Otherwise, there’s a pedelec (pedal electric assist) mode that simply bolsters your efforts, a pedal only mode with no assist and -wait for it- a Wheelie Mode that balances power while the front wheel is airborne.
From the gee-whiz features list, this bike appears to be more about tricks and street performance than commuting. There’s integration with your smart phone, a remote immobilizer and the ability to track the number of successful tricks you pull off and rank them with your Facebook friends. Video above is motorcycle trials pro Julien Dupont putting it through its paces.
Range is claimed between 30 and 45 miles per charge, and it’ll fully recharge in about 2.5 hours. Word is it has a hydraulically shifted 9-speed rear cog and full hydraulic disc brakes.