The German sports car manufacturer Porsche recently unveiled a pedelec prototype with several unique features. The Porsche Hybrid RS is a powerful mountain bike with a generator which re-charges the battery on downhills. A smart phone (on the prototype an iPhone) takes the place of the usual display unit on the handlebar for journey information.
The mobile telephone is connected to the electronics box of the pedelec via W-LAN and offers the rider internet-based GPS navigation and the current charge status of the battery.
Another elegant solution: the Porsche designers found a clever way to hide the battery pack in plain sight! The battery has the form of a water bottle and is fitted to the frame where the water bottle normally sits on a mountain bike - below the lower crossbar.
The full suspension bike weighs 16 kg and with pedal support the range stretches to an impressive 50 km. True to Porsche form, the mountain bike only boasts premium quality components. Included are Magura Marta disc brakes and the latest Sram X.0 gearshift. The hub motor was placed in the rear wheel and produces 450 additional Watt.
At the time of the unveiling of the prototype, Michael Macht, chairman of the Porsche board, said about this new horse in the stable "everything about the Porsche RS Hybrid is in the tradition of the company". When asked why Porsche ventured into light electric vehicles, Macht said "Porsche wanted to transfer its hybrid expertise to bicycles". This hybrid expertise is new at Porsche. In March this year the sports car manufacturer unveiled a prototype of the 3-liter Porsche Spyder at the Geneva Motor Show with the new technology.
As the promotional team of the Porsche RS Hybrid did at the time of the unveiling of the mountain bike prototype, the promotional team of the Spyder also dressed in bright green outfits in Geneva.
The decision whether to go into serial production with the Porsche RS Hybrid has not been finally taken.
Copy: Christoffel Volschenk
Translation: Nora Manthey
21 June 2010