This ultralight bike costs as much as a small car. Not a surprise given Audi’s at the helm, but the bonkers price tag includes some design and tech that’s rather cool.
Weighing a total of around 5.8 kilos — the frame alone a feather-like 790 grams — the limited edition Audi Sport Racing Bike will go on sale in Japan soon, though there are only 50 bikes produced. The sleek two-wheeler was unveiled for the first time back in March at the Geneva Bike Show.
What’s the secret to making a bike that weighs so little? Light-yet-strong carbon fibre made by Japanese chemicals company Toray. It’s the same stuff Audi uses in race cars.
Carbon fibre — while prohibitively expensive at times — has lots of potential far beyond fast bikes. Engineers are working on using it alongside plastic to replace metal gears in cars, for one. Keep an eye on what’s coming out of Japan: Toray, the same company who worked on the Audi bike, expanded an $8.6 billion deal with Boeing last year, which makes a lot of sense, since carbon fibre can make planes like the 787 Dreamliner lighter and more fuel efficient.
Of course, for every brilliant use of a good material, there’s a dumb equivalent: Allow me to direct you to this toilet seat.
Image credit: Audi