Audi unveils Dakar-inspired electric mountain bike with Italian power

12466 TheAudiElectricMountainBikePoweredbyFantic

Audi expanded its range of electric vehicles toward the bottom, but there’s a catch: this one isn’t all-wheel-drive. The company’s newest EV is a mountain bike powered by a drivetrain sourced from Italian manufacturer Fantic and fitted with an impressive suspension system.

Marketed as a limited-edition model, the 56-pound mountain bike features a livery inspired by the RS Q E-Tron, which won the Dakar Rally earlier in 2024. It has a two-tone black and gray finish on the frame with orange accents on the battery cover and on the wheels. Livery aside, Audi’s e-bike looks a lot like the Fantic XEF 1.9 Factory that it’s based on. It rides on 29-inch front and 27.5-inch rear tires.

Riders can count on an air-sprung Öhlins RXF38m.2 fork and a coil-sprung Öhlins TX22M.2 rear spring to filter out bumps on the trail. The suspension system is fully adjustable and it provides 180 millimeters (about seven inches) of travel. Sunstar brakes come standard.

The motor draws electricity from a 36-volt lithium-ion battery pack to deliver up to 67 pound-feet of torque — I’ve owned cars with less torque than that. Riders have four levels of assistance called Eco, Tour, Sport and Boost, respectively, to choose from, and these are available at up to 20 mph. Above that, you’ll need to count on your legs. The bike’s range varies from 12 to 90 miles depending on the terrain, the rider’s weight, and how often the electric motor’s assistance is used. Riders can toggle between the modes by using a screen on the handlebar.

Sold directly by Audi, the mountain bike is available in Small, Medium and Large, and costs $9,795 excluding taxes. Deliveries will start in the summer of 2024, and Audi hasn’t clarified what it means by “limited-edition model” yet. Riders can also order Audi-branded accessories such as riding gloves, cycling jerseys, water bottles, and even bike racks compatible with some of the brand’s models, such as the Q7.

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