Lexus looks set to expand its range of hybrid vehicles in a manner which almost nobody saw coming. Its next concept project, bizarrely enough, is a hybrid bicycle. Say what now?
Don't adjust your LCDs, this really is a two-wheeled Lexus. But although it's a hybrid, it doesn't rely on a combination of electric and petrol power. Instead, it supplements the rider's pedal power to the rear wheel with a 25.9V lithium-ion battery pack and a 240W electric motor driving the front wheel, making it both-wheel drive.
Like all the best hybrids, the Lexus bicycle has a regenerative braking system, which converts heat energy from the brakes into electrical energy that's stored in the battery. It can also be plugged into the mains and recharged in a mere two hours. It has an eight-speed shift-by-wire automatic transmission, which, according to Lexus, "references" that of a Lexus LS 600h limousine.
Lexus currently has no plans to mass-produce the bicycle, but it has built a couple of prototypes, one of which is being shown off at the Great British Bike Ride -- a four-day charity ride that will see hundreds of cyclists riding from Land's End to Twickenham.
Have a butchers' at more pictures of this thing in our photo gallery and let us know what you think in the comments section below.
The rear wheel is powered by you, the rider, using a belt system.
The front wheel is driven by an electric motor, which by the looks of things, is mounted in the central hub of the wheel itself.
Carbon fibre helps keep weight to a minimum and this wouldn't be a Lexus without a healthy dollop of leather.
Regenerative braking and automatic transmission make this one of the most advanced bicycles ever conceived.