Porsche stands above the rest of the car world in terms of profit margins. There’s always some way to milk more money out of buyers, from leather-wrapped air vents and on. Now Porsche has figured out how to charge you $10,700 for a bicycle: A carbon-fiber e-bike to stick on the back of your $100,000 Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo.
Technically, this is one of two e-bikes from Porsche. The one that’s $10,700 is a roadie. The second, which runs you $8,549, is a mountain bike. Both of them are full-carbon bikes, and both are full-suspension, and both are flat bar. These are both hybrids? They’re xbikes? Whatever!
Here’s the roadie:
Here’s the rough-er roadie:
Germany is a real hub of the e-bike industry, e-mountain bikes in particular, so it’s no surprise that these things are built in Dieburg by the German manufacturer Rotwild. Yes, Rotwild sells even more expensive e-mtbs, too.
Carbon or not, neither of these bikes are lightweight, as The Verge reports:
There are two models of Porsche e-bike, the Sport and the Cross. The Sport is a road bike intended for everyday use, with a full-suspension carbon fiber frame, integrated front and rear lights, Shimano mid-drive motor, and a price tag that would make Jeff Bezos blush. The Sport, which weighs a little less than 48 pounds, will set you back about $10,700, which is just an astonishing price for an e-bike.
The Cross is more for off-roading adventures, Porsche says. It also sports a Shimano mid-drive, carbon fiber frame, and full suspension, in addition to Magura-MT Trail hydraulic disc brakes that are extra-large and “heat resistant.” It weighs 48.7 pounds and will retail for $8,549.
The Shimano EP8 motor that is featured in both bikes is smaller than previous versions — Porsche describes it as “ultra-compact” — and provides up to 25 km/h of pedal-assisted support. (Seems slow, but that’s the legal top speed allowed under European Union regulations.)
These bikes will be available on their own at “select specialist bicycle outlets” come Spring 2021, according to Porsche’s press release, as well as at Porsche dealers. Porsche also could not help itself but add some car marketing word salad to its press release saying that the bikes “are the perfect companions to get you to your destination with power and dynamism, without compromising comfort and style.” I am often at a loss how I will get to my destination with power and dynamism but without compromising my comfort and style! These bikes are perfect for me.
Startling as it may be to put down 10 large for a branded e-bike, this is not all that much in terms of Porsche’s optional add-ons. Tacyan Cross Turismo buyers can shell out $4,510 for carbon-bladed 21" aero wheels, $6,740 for “Deviated Stitching Interior Package and Deviated Leather Seat Centers,” $1,630 for getting the top of your door mirrors trimmed in carbon fiber, and another $2,920 for “Inner Door-Sill Guards and B-Pillars in Leather.” That’s $15,800 for a car not really any different from when you started the configurator.
And to once more reiterate how much profit Porsche pulls in per car, here’s The Economist writing in 2018 how the company is averaging five figures of profit for every Porsche out the door:
In some ways, Porsche is a tiny cog in Volkswagen’s machine. It made 253,000 cars in 2018, out of 10.9m vehicles at vw as a whole. And it will sell 20,000 Taycans a year, compared with millions of id cars. But it makes so much money for vw that some investors and analysts suggest only spinning it off would recognise its true value.
Porsche is VW’s high-revving engine. In 2018 it accounted for 10% of the group’s revenues and a staggering 30% of profits, almost what Audi, VW’s premium marque, made from 1.5m cars. In an industry where operating margins are often in low single digits, Porsche’s exceed 18%, with average profit per vehicle a turbocharged €16,250 ($17,900) compared with €3,200 for Audi and €960 for the mass-market VW brand.
Of course, more of that profit comes from stalwarts like the 911 and less from newcomers like the Taycan, as Bloomberg reported in 2019. It’s no surprise that Porsche would try and add on as many other items to round out your Taycan buying experience, even if I’m sure these things will be gathering dust in garages in no time, like every VW-branded Trek out there.