E-scooter maker Unagi has unveiled its latest two-wheeler, the “Model Eleven,” which it’s breathlessly calling “the world’s first ‘smart’ electric scooter” thanks to new navigation, crash-alert, and other high-tech features. It’s also enthusiastic about its design, having roped in industrial designer Yves Béhar to help bring it from the drawing board to reality. But we’re most excited about its full suspension, frankly.
Unagi stays the Model Eleven isn’t just smart, it’s also “the lightest, full-suspension scooter on the market” at 32lbs. And given our one complaint about the otherwise impressive, portable, and elegant Model One e-scooter when we reviewed it was the lack of suspension, we’re pretty excited to test-ride the Eleven, especially as our other gripe — the small, solid tires — has been addressed, too.
Google Maps baked in — The company has also partnered with Google so that riders can get turn-by-turn directions on the Eleven’s integrated touch display (or via its onboard speakers) from their Android or iOS smartphone. An upcoming left turn, for instance, will be visually represented by a strip of blue light on the right-hand side of the ring of LEDs that surrounds the display.
Meanwhile, onboard GPS, a built-in motion-sensitive alarm, and the ability to remotely lock down the scooter now offer significant anti-theft protection.
Perhaps Unagi’s boldest inclusion, though, is a new “collision protect AI.” The company says the Model Eleven is the first two-wheeler ever with an “integrated advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) sensor that detects objects in your periphery and warns of any impending collisions or dangers.”
Even more impressive (but eyebrow-raising) is the claim “the Model Eleven knows the difference between a stoplight, stop sign, person, car or inanimate object, and provides both audible warnings with its integrated audio system, as well as visual warnings on the display.”
Hot-swappable batteries — The original Model One has solid range, but with the Model Eleven Unagi’s removing any anxiety completely by making the battery hot-swappable (it says each battery will be good for up to 14 miles). Similarly easy to switch out are the new 9-inch puncture-proof tires. The tires “come off like cartridges without the hassle of having to remove the rims,” the company explains.
You may need a spare battery if you insist on using the onboard Bluetooth speakers to blast your tunes of choice as you ride. We implore you to choose the tunes you inflict on passersby wisely.
Easy rider — According to Unagi, every part of the Eleven was designed with the rider in mind, from hiding all screws and cabling, to the scooter’s weight distribution, throttle, and even what it’s like to carry when folded. The carbon fiber that makes the Model One so lightweight is back for the Eleven, but is now even lighter, and the dual-motor arrangement found on the top-spec Model One is back too, which is welcome. Part of what makes the Model One standout is how responsive it is off the line.
Innovation doesn’t come cheap — The Model Eleven is available for pre-order on Indiegogo with the first units expected to ship in June 2022. If you want the full-fat version with ADAS you’re looking at $2,860 (and you’ll have to wait until September 2022). Without it, you’ll pay $2,440, though early-bird specials on some versions bring the pricing down to around $1,700.
That’s still a massive premium over the $990 price tag of the Model One. We’ll reserve judgment on whether it’s worth it until we’ve tried it. But there’s no denying the Model Eleven certainly looks like the part of a thoughtfully designed, luxury, micromobility solution.