Audi Goes Green With Fewer Wheels, More Wood

April 4, 2011
Audi duo City

Audi duo City

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If you understand German companies, you know the emphasis they place on “green” manufacturing and sustainability. Audi’s latest line of vehicles takes this concept to a whole new level.

Borrowing a page from Morgan’s engineering manual, the Germany automaker is introducing a series of wooden-framed rides. Three different models will be available, aimed at urban commuters, performance enthusiasts and those that favor long distance road trips.

The information comes directly from Audi’s PR department, and refers to a line of three hardwood-framed bicycles recently announced by Audi.

According to the automaker, wood offers the smoothest ride of any bicycle frame material, thanks to its ability to absorb shock and vibration. Contrary to what you might think, properly dried wood is also particularly light; in fact, Audi claims that wood weighs just one quarter as much as aluminum per cubic inch. This completely ignores the fact that aluminum-framed bicycles rely on hollow tubing to save weight, but Audi’s spin on the subject does make it sound good. The company also points out that wooden bicycles further Audi’s commitment to sustainability, and are both recyclable and biodegradable.

As you’d expect from Audi, the bikes utilize the latest advances in technology. None are available in quattro (or duo) all-wheel-drive, but all feature aluminum and carbon fiber components, LED lighting, belt or lightweight chain drives and wood tones selected to match Audi’s vehicle interiors.

Handmade for Audi by Renovo Hardwood Bicycles of Portland, Oregon, the bikes are priced on par with Audi’s automobiles. Least expensive is the duo City leisure bike, which starts at $6,350. Next up is the duo Sport long distance commuter, priced at $7,350. Atop the range is the duo Road, said to be ideal for club and century rides, priced at $7,460.

There’s no word yet on whether or not Audi will be able to incorporate these vehicles into their 2012 CAFE reporting, and sadly, the bikes don’t come with a 10-year, 100,000-mile termite warranty.

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