Unagi, purveyors of the polarizing but futuristic $990 Model One, are building an entirely new scooter: the Model Eleven.
The Model Eleven is Unagi Founder David Hyman’s vision for the future of micro-mobility: seamless, lightweight, and full of technology.
His vision includes an A.I.-powered rider assistance computer — technology rare in motor vehicles and wholly unheard of on an e-scooter.
Ultimately, the Eleven represents a big bet that a prestige product that looks good and is easy to use will convert a broad swath of urban dwellers into scooter riders.
Here’s what we think about the Model Eleven.
Unagi Model Eleven Basics
The Model Eleven is a 32 lb, folding, dual-motor electric scooter with 14 miles claimed range and 19 mph top speed. Final pricing will be around $2,500 with early bird pricing as low as $1,600. It has a swappable battery under its deck, a Bluetooth audio system for bumping your favorite tunes, and dual regenerative brakes.
It also features a GPS tracking system with a remote kill switch and an A.I.-powered safety system just for technological flex.
The Model Eleven’s deck opens for quick battery swaps | Credit: Unagi Scooters
Though the Eleven takes cues from the Model One, it is a novel design led by Yves Behar of fuseproject.
Behar is a renowned designer who gained fame through his award-winning product designs and was named by Forbes as Most Influential Industrial Designer in The World.
His portfolio includes successes like Jambox, Jawbone, and Tile. It also has some notable flops — most infamously, Juicero.
The Eleven retains many elements of the original One, including ergonomic control tabs, carbon fiber material, and the “One Click” folding mechanism.
However, it is further refined.
It has no external cables or strange bolt-on appendages. A single recessed screw pins the handlebars to the carbon-fiber stem. The entire scooter is made from long carbon fiber that can be injection-molded.
The central display is a touchscreen that connects via a Bluetooth app to provide turn-by-turn audio directions and visual indicators.
Behar and Unagi have made the Model Eleven a carbon fiber sculpture with potentially massive appeal. The design is truly seamless, and the specs suggest that it will be the lightest, full suspension, dual-motor scooter — ever.
Functionality Addresses Common Rider Pain Points
Like the Model One, the Eleven has airless, foam-filled tires that are impervious to flats. At 9 inches, they are slightly larger and use a cartridge system for easy replacement.
Combined with its dual elastomer suspension (fancy name for rubber suspension that will likely be similar to those used by Minimotors and Inokim), ride quality promises to be much better on rough urban streets.
These design choices try to solve the common problem of reliability versus ride quality.
Airless tires won’t ever get a flat but have worse ride quality (though if they are like those on the ES22, they might be pretty good). Suspension compensates for this, hopefully giving the best of both worlds.
The cartridge tire is a true innovation that acknowledges the absolute hell it is to change any e-scooter tire.
Advanced Driver Assistance System Is Glimpse Of The Future
The advanced driver-assistance system (ADAS) is A.I. powered ride safety computer.
It serves as a second pair of eyes — watching out and alerting you of hazards. This includes impending collision, potholes, and lane departure.
The ADAS will be offered as an optional upgrade. It will launch with more limited functionality that will be expanded later (we’re guessing with over-the-air updates).
Unagi has even teased the idea that the Eleven could automatically brake in the event of an imminent collision. I’m not sure this is a good idea, but I can definitely appreciate how they think about technology and safety.
Our Take On The Model Eleven
The Model Eleven shows both incremental improvement and genuine innovation. Some features address very real and common pain points.
Weight, portability, durability, maintenance, use-of-use are challenges that everyday commuters face. These can really suck on the wrong scooter.
Other innovations, like the ADAS, seem more like technological flex.
Will the Model Eleven be a great scooter? Will it be a commercial success?
I hope so.
Unagi is building a prestige product on the pillars of aesthetic, design, and technology.
In the process, they are elevating the perception of electric scooters from adult man toy, from Byrd blocking your sidewalk, from “lacks dignity” to cool, futuristic form of transportation.
Unagi is opening up minds with the Model Eleven — luring your iPhone-loving everyman into the two-wheeled world of commuting bliss.
This technology is good for the planet, and I’m all for it.
We expect some readers to scoff at the Model Eleven for being overpriced in terms of raw performance per dollar — this scooter isn’t for you. And that’s okay.
Though, I bet if you tried one, you’d probably like it.
The Model Eleven is available for preorder now, but won’t be ready until Summer 2022.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on the Model Eleven. Is the scooter of the future here? Let us know on the RG Forums.