Tech: The Audi E-Bike
Written by John Persolus
Do you remember when Audi purchased Ducati for $1.2 billion last April? Most of us were probably expecting some sleek, slick and expensive-looking motorcycle concept to be the first thing out of the collaboration; Who would have thought that the first concepts would be sleek, slick, and expensive-looking bicycle concepts?
That’s right, Audi recently released pictures of several 3D model bicycles that not only look amazing, but are incredibly high-tech. Not much is known about them right now because they still seem to be in the design stage. What we do know about is Audi’s E-bike, Wörthersee, that was announced and displayed during a tour in Austria last year. For those of you who don’t know, an E-bike is a bicycle that you pedal, but an electric motor assists you to help you achieve and maintain speeds of which a normal bicycle wouldn’t be capable.
The Wörthersee has the most innovation seen in a single bike since the bike was invented. The basic design of the bike was practically redone from scratch. To start, the frame was completely redesigned, which allowed a battery and motor to fit into it while also giving it that Audi look. The frame weighs only three and half pounds by itself. The Wörthersee shows off its own custom suspension system, wheels, and retractable seat that is adjusted through handlebar mounted controls. The handlebar also has a LED headlight installed right into it, paired with a tail light that is mounted on the back of the bike seat.
Looks aren’t everything though; so does the Wörthersee perform on a level of excellence equal to that of its exterior design? Yes, it does. The bike has five modes: Pure, eGrip, Pedelec, Power Wheelie, and Balanced Wheelie. The Pure mode makes the bike totally mechanical, so you go only as fast as you can pedal. The eGrip mode lets the motor do all the work. All you have to do is sit back and relax as you zip along at 30mph. The Pedelec mode is a hybrid of the first two. Your pedalling speed determines how fast you go, but you are assisted by the electric motor. As such, you could reach up to a whopping 50mph! Power and Balanced Wheelie modes aid the rider in maintaining the wheelie angle and adjusting the speed, respectively.
Wait! There’s even more! Just below the handlebar there is a small touch screen that allows riders to switch between modes as well as view information such as distance travelled, battery remaining, and current speed. Furthermore, the bike has Wi-Fi capabilities so you can share information about your trips on the web. Lastly, there is an app that will be available on iPhone and Android phones that will allow riders to immobilize their bikes to prevent theft. If anyone does tamper with your bike an alarm will sound to let you and everyone else know.
This is going to be an amazing product once it becomes available to the public. Right now there are a few concept versions to be seen; however, this bike is not yet in production.