Concept dares Audi to return to motorcycle production
Audi once held claim to a proud history in the motorcycling world. DKW motorcycles, an Audi subsidiary since 1932, were once the best racing bikes in the world. But that was long ago; a matter of history rather than manufacturing.
Then, last year, something fascinating happened. Audi agreed to purchase high-end motorcycle manufacturer Ducati. And that’s what got French designer Thibault Devauze thinking. He envisioned a new motorcycle line, born from the shared history of the two companies. One that would also open a new front in the heated competition between Audi and its chief rival: BMW.
Thibault has a history as a designer with Audi, as does his brother Marc. Aided by modeler Clement Couvreur, the brothers set out to create a bike that merged Audi design and Ducati engineering. And so, the Audi Motorrad project was born; its name an open declaration of war upon BMW.
In Thibault’s own words:
“The idea was pretty simple: the first competitor of AUDI is BMW, and BMW sell bikes. In the past Audi has a massive heritage in terms of bike with the DKW brand. Audi is always looking for new market , bikes market represent a good opportunity.”
The Motorrad concept bike is powered by a 850cc Ducati engine, mounted on an Audi Ultra lightweight chassis. The design conjures up Ducati features while simultaneously bringing the bike into direct competition with BMW’s own concept-turned-reality. While the chances of Audi actually picking up the design in any official capacity seem slim, the Devauze brothers have delivered a wakeup call. One that, judging by their impressive design, we’d rather see heeded than brushed aside.