The latest Audi to wear E-Tron branding is an electric mountain bike, and it’s not subtle about it’s branding. It’s literally called the Audi E-Tron Electric Mountain Bike. Automakers partnering with bicycle companies are nothing new. In fact, one of the most famous is Audi parent company Volkswagen’s team-up with Trek, which threw in a bike when you bought a Trek Edition Jetta. In this case, however, the Audi ain’t giving away the E-Tron Electric Mountain Bike because it retails for an eye-watering $10,126.
Audi says the bike was inspired by its RS Q E-Tron Dakar Rally car, which itself looks more like the shoe you’d wear while riding a mountain bike than a car. It wears the same construction sign orange-and-black colors as the Dakar racer, making the bike look quite utilitarian. Audi had high hopes for beating returning champion Toyota at this year’s Dakar Rally with a revamped RS Q. Unfortunately, two of the real Dakar machines crashed out during the 2023 race (read our in-depth, behind-the-scenes story here), one so hard that driver Stephane Peterhansel blacked out, while a third piloted by Mattias Ekstrom finished 14th overall.
Hopefully the Audi E-Tron Mountain Bike has better luck taking its riders to their destinations. It should, because it’s actually made by Italian e-bike specialist Fantic, using its XMF 1.7 as a base. It’s powered by a 250-watt Brose S-Mag 36 electric motor good for 66 pound-feet of torque, while the bulging lower frame rail contains a Fantic-made lithium-ion, 36-volt, 720Wh battery. No top speed or range were specified.
Both the Audi and Fantic-branded e-bikes come with derailleur, chain, shifters and brakes by Sram, as well as a Selle Italia saddle. While a non-Audi branded Fantic XMF 1.7 would cost around $6,700, there are a few bits that don’t come standard on the Fantic e-bike. Audi equipped its version with a fork, springs and shocks by the suspension specialists at Öhlins, which provides 180mm of travel over the standard Fantic’s 170. You could still probably piece together your own replica of the Audi for less than its asking price, but if you can drop $10,000 on an e-bike the difference will be negligible.
If the Audi E-Tron e-bike is too pricey for your wallet, there’s always other automotive-branded tie-ins. Harley Davidson’s e-bikes start at $3,399 but aren’t built for off-road. Comparable dirt-worthy e-bikes like Hummer’s costs $3,999, while Jeep’s e-bike rings in at $9000.