A new prototype with hybrid drive from Porsche… no, not the Cayenne S Hybrid, the 911 GT3 R Hybrid or 918 Spyder concept, but a bicycle. The Porsche Hybrid RS mountain bike weighs less than 16kg and, with electric drive assistance, has a range of more than 50km. As well as its lightweight carbon frame, four-link rear suspension and front telefork with 100mm of spring deflection, this bicycle boasts some pretty special extra equipment. Such as the built-in i-Phone on the handlebars, connected via W-Lan to the ‘electronics box’ to give, among other things, web-assisted navigation and an overview of the charge left in the bicycle’s battery. As for the hybrid technology, there’s an electric hub with direct drive in the rear wheel that can provide up to 450W. The drive is regulated via torque sensing, which means that “as soon as the rider steps on the pedal, he or she acquires additional torque via the drive on the rear wheel”. This is supplied by rechargeable, lithium manganese batteries attached to the frame, and designed to look like a drinking bottle. The batteries are recharged “on mountain descents” or, presumably, less dramatic downhill free-wheeling.
Porsche is backing up its claim that the hybrid bicycle is better for health than more strenuous, less controlled exercise, with a quote from ‘the chief physician of the Clinic for Internal Medicine II of the Alfried Krupp Hospital, Essen’. Says Prof. Dr Wolfgang Grotz, “With endurance sport, it is mainly about the cleverly moderated extent of the pulse rate. The basic rule is calculated from the rule of thumb, ‘180 minus age equals training pulse’. A 50-year-old should therefore have a maximum training pulse of 130 beats per minute.” The aim of the bike, says Porsche, is to support training that’s good for your health without overstretching the rider on longer distances and gradients. “The focus is on cycling fun.”