Henry Grabar is a staff writer for Slate’s Moneybox and a former fellow at CityLab. He lives in New York.
A luxury personal transportation option for the car-free generation.
BMC, the Swiss bicycle company, makes some of the world's nicest bicycles. impec, an imprint of the company, makes the nicest BMCs. In 2011, Cadel Evans rode an impec to victory in the Tour de France.*
So what happens when impec collaborates with Italian luxury automaker Lamborghini? The 50th Anniversary Lamborghini Edition impec, which, briefly, is a very nice bike. Short of bicycles plated in gold and encrusted in diamonds, this is about as expensive a bike as money can buy.
What makes an impec bike so special? Its frame is made from bespoke carbon tubes woven into a mesh by robots (what the company calls a Load Specific Weave), and joined together by patented "Shell Nodes." You can read more about the technology here.
Ride-wise, the collaboration is probably not too far superior to the rest of the impec fleet, which sells for about half the price. But it does have the classic Lamborghini bull decal, and handlebars wrapped in yellow Lamborghini leather, the same that you might find in one of the company's car interiors.
BMC is only making 50 of them, so if you're looking for a justification, it could be a great (if exceedingly exorbitant) way to distinguish yourself in a world where every Tom Dick and Harry is riding a carbon-fiber bike around town. Thirty-two grand may seem like a lot to spend on a bike, but it's definitely the cheapest Lamborghini on the market right now.
All images: BMC Racing.
* Correction: Cadel Evans won the Tour de France in 2011, not last year. The winner last year was Bradley Wiggins.