Audi's not shy when it comes to pounding out electric vehicles. The latest to emerge from its bulging stable of prototypes is an electric bicycle that makes most of its rivals -- electric, pedal-powered or otherwise -- seem a bit dull in comparison.
The Worthersee e-bike, set to be unveiled at the Worthersee Tour in Austria, is the latest to join Audi's electric fray, but it's it's not simply for commuter use. It's insanely fast and has a power-to-weight ratio that can rival an full sized Audi.
Twist the handle and its electric motor churns out a maximum of 3bhp. That doesn't sound like an awful lot until you consider the bike weighs just 21kg. Even if maths isn't your strong point, that works out at a stunning 7bhp per kilogram -- enough to rival some full sized Audis.
The nature of its power delivery varies depending on which of its driving modes you select on the touchscreen at the top of the frame. 'Pure' mode lets you pootle along using the pedals only; 'eGrip' lets the bicycle scoot around under its own power without any effort from the user; 'Pedelec' mode lets you pedal and use the electric motor simultaneously and finally, there are two 'Wheelie' modes that let the rider perform stunts with the help of sudden bursts of power from the electric motor.
In eGrip mode, the rider can reach speeds of up to 31mph without effort, which is moped territory. With Pedalec mode selected, the e-bike maxes out at a quite terrifying top speed of 50mph. That, friends, is hospital bed territory.
Sadly, as with all Audi's electric vehicles, you can't actually buy the e-bike, and there's no telling whether Audi will ever release the thing. Still, we can admire it from a far while keeping our fingers, toes and other appendages crossed that one day the company sees fit to release it.
In the meantime, have a gander at the prototype being put through its paces by Julien Dupont and stay close by for further details as we get them.