Bicycles

Porsche serves up a couple of really nice-looking ebikes

Porsche serves up a couple of ...
Porsche is stepping into the ebike game in style with a pair of dual-suspension beauties
Porsche is stepping into the ebike game in style with a pair of dual-suspension beauties
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Porsche is stepping into the ebike game in style with a pair of dual-suspension beauties
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Porsche is stepping into the ebike game in style with a pair of dual-suspension beauties
The Porsche eBike Sport: sleek as, bro
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The Porsche eBike Sport: sleek as, bro
Integrated taillight
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Integrated taillight
Nicely integrated LED headlight
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Nicely integrated LED headlight
The Fox shock can barely be seen against the frame
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The Fox shock can barely be seen against the frame
Shimano's EP8 motor delivers a healthy 85 Nm, but is neutered to meet Euro standards
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Shimano's EP8 motor delivers a healthy 85 Nm, but is neutered to meet Euro standards
The cheaper eBike Cross gets a mechanical shifter, smaller battery, and no fancy integrated cockpit handlebar or LED lighting – but it does get a nice dropper seat post
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The cheaper eBike Cross gets a mechanical shifter, smaller battery, and no fancy integrated cockpit handlebar or LED lighting – but it does get a nice dropper seat post
The offroad-focused eBike Cross saves a little money on the really fancy bits
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The offroad-focused eBike Cross saves a little money on the really fancy bits
Magura MCi integrated cockpit puts all the brake hydraulics and wiring inside the handlebar for a super-sleek look
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Magura MCi integrated cockpit puts all the brake hydraulics and wiring inside the handlebar for a super-sleek look
Designed by Porsche's own design studios, in collaboration with Rotwild
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Designed by Porsche's own design studios, in collaboration with Rotwild
Buy a Porsche bike, and you can look like this guy. If that's the sort of thing you'd like to do
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Buy a Porsche bike, and you can look like this guy. If that's the sort of thing you'd like to do
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Porsche, like many automotive companies, is diversifying into the "mobility" game. There's a very good chance the coming decades will see a rapid transition to a self-driving world in which owning cars ceases to make sense – particularly to younger generations who simply don't make the same connections between vehicles and self-image as us older fogeys. The badge on the back of a robo-taxi won't carry a lot of weight in such a world, so premium brands like Porsche need to find other ways to connect with customers.

One popular way for such companies to dip a toe into the "mobility" market is by making ebikes. Ebikes are great; they're a brilliant way to get around town, dodging tolls, eliminating traffic jams, speeding tickets and parking fees, and shoehorning exactly as much or as little exercise into your day as you feel like. They also give flashier brands a chance to make premium products, leveraging the halo over their sports cars to charge crazy prices and deliver beautiful machines designed as obsessively as their cars.

BMW's been at it since at least 2012 with this wacky fold-up. Audi dropped jaws in the same year with this carbon beauty, complete with electronically-balancing wheelie mode. Lamborghini ... Well, Lamborghini tried, I guess. And here's Porsche's effort.

The Porsche eBike Sport: sleek as, bro
The Porsche eBike Sport: sleek as, bro

For what it's worth, I think Porsche's new eBike Sport and eBike Cross look really nice. Designed by Studio F. A. Porsche and developed in co-operation with German ebike company Rotwild, these things don't deviate too far from a regular bike shape, but every shape and surface gets a touch of class.

They're dual-suspension bikes; forks and brakes are by Magura, shocks are by Fox. The latter lies almost flush against the top tube, whose angle extends right down through the swingarm when nobody's sitting on the bike. That gives it a super-sleek, almost hardtail look when it's parked. Porsche doesn't supply any images of people actually riding the things; their models are all standing around looking windswept and interesting, so I confess, I do wonder if a bit of weight on the seat makes it look like the bike's bending in half.

The motors don't really live up to the Porsche badge, but that's neither Porsche's fault nor Shimano, the supplier's. The Shimano Steps EP-8 motor will deliver a healthy 85 Nm of torque, but only up to a cripplingly low 25 km/h, or 15.5 mph, in line with European ebike legislation that continues to neuter what could and should be a magnificent green commuting option. Another 10-15 clicks and ebike riders would be much closer to the pace of the lycra brigade, instead of feeling like moving chicanes constantly being swamped from behind on the bike paths.

Designed by Porsche's own design studios, in collaboration with Rotwild
Designed by Porsche's own design studios, in collaboration with Rotwild

Either way, Porsche offers two models. The white one in most of the photos here is the street-focused eBike Sport with beautifully built-in LED lighting front and rear, an 11-speed Shimano Di2 electronic shift system, and 630 Wh of battery, representing a range up to 125 km (77 miles) if ridden gently.

Porsche says it's got an "integrated cockpit" by Magura, although it doesn't seem to integrate the small Shimano dash. Instead, the Magura MCi system moves all the brake lines and hydraulics inside the handlebar tube, completely out of sight until they pop out of the frame right next to where they're needed. Very tidy.

The black one is the offroad-focused eBike Cross. "Don't mind a little extra power?" enquires Porsche's website. "Then you'll love the eBike cross." I don't mind a little extra power myself, as it happens, but if you were hoping this one would be derestricted, you'll be disappointed. It makes the same 85 Nm as the Sport, and tops out at the same 25 km/h. So if there's any extra punch to be had, perhaps it's geared slightly differently, spinning a bit faster and providing 350 watts instead of the street bike's 250 watts. We don't know.

The cheaper eBike Cross gets a mechanical shifter, smaller battery, and no fancy integrated cockpit handlebar or LED lighting – but it does get a nice dropper seat post
The cheaper eBike Cross gets a mechanical shifter, smaller battery, and no fancy integrated cockpit handlebar or LED lighting – but it does get a nice dropper seat post

Either way the Cross gets a dropper seat post, dirtier tires and Shimano's 12-speed XT mechanical shift system. But it loses the Sport's integrated lighting, integrated cockpit thingy and internally run cabling, and runs a smaller, 504 Wh battery for a range closer to 100 km (62 miles), again ridden very gently.

The suspension appears to be the same for both bikes, as do the very sexy-looking Crankbrothers rims, which really don't seem like they've possibly got enough spokes to get the job done – but I'm sure Porsche has had the calculators out.

These bikes are "inspired" by the Taycan, and Porsche has even designed its own bike carrier you can use to stick up to three of them onto the new Taycan Cross Turismo. That's pretty neat.

Buy a Porsche bike, and you can look like this guy. If that's the sort of thing you'd like to do
Buy a Porsche bike, and you can look like this guy. If that's the sort of thing you'd like to do

How much? About what you'd expect. The Porsche eBike Sport costs €9,990 (equating to around US$12,120, although US pricing is often lower than the straight conversion). The Porsche eBike Cross without the fancy lights and Magura cockpit and that extra bit of battery is €7,990 (US$9,700). This is not wildly out of line with what people pay for top-spec premium ebikes; heck, there are bikes out there for twice that much that refuse to do any of the work.

You can put me down as a fan of everything except the price tag here; I think Porsche has done a good job making these things look special, and fitting them out with nice bits as far as Euro legislation allows.

Source: Porsche

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6 comments
6 comments
Daishi
This has all the same appeal as if Porsche sold cars with 1/16th of the power that were governed exactly at the speed limit and not 1km or 1mph more but still charged typical Porsche prices for them. When $1,500 ebikes deliver 3x the power who needs one that's $12k and slow? To make matters worse, the battery is an area where they aren't restricted by regulation in Europe is still only 504 Wh which is 200 Wh less than $1,500 direct-to-consumer brands and without the scapegoat of being able to blame EU regulations. With cars Europe makes some of the highest performance cars in the world selling street legal vehicles able to easily do 3x or 4x posted speed limits but when it comes to bicycles sitting this one out and letting China lead the way on building high performance ebikes seems to be the official position. It's tragic. Maybe these auto companies should try pressuring the EU to relax their ebike restrictions by 5 or 10 kph
guzmanchinky
I guess I should be happy that in the US we get 19 mph... While I love the look of these bikes, wouldn't it make more sense to buy a bike from a bike manufacturer, who arguably has decades more experience in making bikes?
Username
If, like the article stipulates, the consumer of the near future won't care about brand association(badges) then they won't pay 10 times as much for a bike with a luxury badge.
ChairmanLMAO
When they built the motor for the Harley Davidson V-Rod it seemed quite obvious to me they should make their own motorcycle. What ever happened to that idea. I demo rode that bike and you really could tell it was a Porshe engine. Sidling up with HD was obviously not the greatest but sure wish there were more of those motors out there.
PaleDale
Prices are far more reasonable than I expected given its Porsche. While those CrankBrothers wheels might look great they are rubbish, proprietary everything, way over priced and hard to true due the low number of spokes, a really bad choice for an e-bike.
BJB
)12-13k, REALLY?? Give me a break!