Ultralight Ares Super Leggera might be world's most stylish ebike
Helmed by former Lotus CEO Dany Bahar and based in sports car capital Modena, Italy, Ares Design has become best known for wild four-wheel creations optimized for road, track and trail. That doesn't mean it doesn't know its way around two wheels, though. Partnering up with electric bicycle maker HPS, Ares presents a limited-edition ebike that weighs under 20 pounds and looks like a stylish, non-electric road bike while churning out up to 200 watts of pedal-boosting power. It could be your ticket to ride like a Tour winner while looking like you belong on the cover of a handcrafted bicycle magazine ... though at $22,000, that's an expensive ticket.
Ares makes up for its lack of bicycle experience by wisely partnering with a company that recently launched one of the most cutting-edge and lightweight electric race bikes on the market, the Domestique. In fact, while Ares says it contributed to the design of the Super Legerra frame, its new special edition looks very much like a custom-dressed Domestique.
Where Ares has clearly done some serious work is in the retro-inspired styling that makes the Super Legerra a true city beauty. There's no call for one of Ares' automotive body kits, but the hand-crafted leather components and cream-colored paint give the Super Legerra a clean, understated look quite unlike the bright, flashy two-tone schemes HPS offers. We're not sure it commands a €7,000 premium, but it certainly looks good.
Much like the original HPS Domestique, the Super Legerra gives little visual indication it's an ebike. HPS squeezes its sleek, compact Watt Assist Pro electric drive into the frame tubes and bottom bracket so there's no visible hub motor or mid-motor bulge. The battery wears a water-bottle disguise and sits snugly in the custom-designed bottle cage. Ares promises that the Super Legerra doesn't even feel like an ebike with the power switched off, as the neatly integrated motor drive allows for a light, balanced ride.
Ares will offer just 24 Super Leggera models, inviting buyers to be part of the one-off customization program. Each bike will cost a cool €18,950 (approx. US$22,000), a big leap over top the €12,000 ($13,900) price of the Domestique.
The Super Leggera represents the start of a greater collaboration between Ares and HPS, and the companies plan to introduce a more modern top-end electric-assist road bicycle and a high-end city ebike in coming months. It sounds like those, too, will be aimed at the few, the wealthy and the vain.
Source: Ares Design