Audi heads for the hills with eMTB inspired by its electric desert racer
Audi UK has announced the launch of a limited-edition electric mountain bike that's said to have been inspired by the company's RS Q e-tron Dakar rally car, and is specced out with components from Brose, Fantic, SRAM, Renthal and Mavic.
Audi says that the awkwardly named Audi electric mountain bike powered by Fantic is part of the company's push "to offer alternative means of e-mobility beyond four wheels." The German auto maker is certainly not alone in trying to tap into two-wheeled electric micro-mobility, over the years we've seen efforts pop up from the likes of GM, BMW and Toyota to name a few, and Porsche looks like it's getting serious, having recently thrown a wad of cash at Croatia's Greyp Bikes.
Rolling with a design that's said to have been inspired by the RS Q e-tron E2 desert racer, the electric mountain bike has been developed in collaboration with Italy's Fantic Motor and designed to tackle a variety of terrains and ebiking needs – from off-road trailblazing and enduro riding to downhill or touring.
Four levels of pedal-assist and a tasty 90 Nm (66.4 lb.ft) of torque are provided by a 250-W Brose S-MAG mid-mount motor, and there's a SRAM GX Eagle 12-speed mechanical drivetrain for flexible ride options. The chunky downtube proudly wearing e-tron markings is home to a 720-Wh Fantic Integra battery pack, though no per-charge range has been given.
The off-roader is built around an aluminum enduro frame with carbon components that's been designed to offer a relaxed riding stance, there's a dropper seatpost topped by a Sella Italia Novus Boost EVO saddle, and Audi has gone with full Öhlins squish comprising a RFX38 M.2 suspension fork with 180 mm of travel and a TTX22M mountain bike coil shock.
It rides a mullet configuration with a 29-inch Mavic wheel to the front wrapped in a 2.6-inch Vittoria E-Mazza off-road tire and a 27.5-inch Mavic to the rear matched to a 2.8-inch Vittoria E-Martello tire. Stopping power comes courtesy of IN.CA.S disc brakes with a 220-mm rotor to the front and 203 mm at the back. And the rider can check ebike status via a small display on the Renthal Fatbar V2 handlebar.
The Audi electric mountain bike powered by Fantic starts from £8,499 (which converts to around US$10k), and will come in three frame sizes. The company hasn't revealed just how limited this limited production run will be, or indicated when it might be available but those interested are invited to register on the Audi Genuine Accessories portal.