While we have all seen electronic bikes before, this is definitely something else, in a good way. Audi has recently introduced the Audi e-bike Wörthersee, a sports bike that is pretty hard to categorize. Its not your everyday conventional bike and its not exactly a pedelec even though Audi best describes it as a high-end pedelec for sport, fun and tricks. Made with an ultra-light (duh) carbon fiber frame, the bike easily incorporates Audi’s brand principals of design.
Audi, pushing the limits with innovation, illustrates what is technically possible with the electric mobility and lightweight construction of the Wörthersee. With its carbon fiber frame weighing only 1,600 grams (3.53lbs), the complete bike weighs in at 21kg (46.3 lbs). The frame also houses the lithium-ion battery that can be fully charged in 2.5 hours using a 230 V supply or can even be detached and replaced with a charged battery if need be. The 26 inch wheels are made of CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic), weighing just 600 grams each.
The rider of the e-bike can choose between five programs; these either support use of the pedals or permit electric-only travel. “In the ‘Pure’ mode the rider only propels the bike by means of the pedals. In the ‘Pedelec’ mode the rider is assisted by the electric motor; a top speed of up to 80 km/h (50 mph) can be reached and the action radius is between 50 and 70 kilometers (31 and 44 miles). In the ‘eGrip’ program the Audi e-bike Wörthersee can be ridden with the electric motor providing all the necessary power; in this case at speeds up to 50 km/h (31 mph).” The on-board computer is located in the frame’s top tube, and is operated using a touchscreen. One of the coolest aspects of the bike, if not the coolest, is its ability to communicate with the riders smartphone. So when the rider is using one of the five programs to pop-a-wheelie, the smartphone can post to Facebook and compare with other riders tricks.
There is no price on the carbon fiber beauty-bike unfortunately, because as of now its just a prototype. Audi is calling the Wörthersee, a “show bike” so we will have to keep our ears open regarding the future of this e-bike. The prototype will be introduced by Audi at the 2012 Wörthersee Tour.