Commuter Bike of Tomorrow?

A sleek futuristic design for a compact commuter bike

Today Treehugger brings word and (more importantly) pictures of a minimalist concept bike for commuters, apparently commissioned by Ford Motor Company and inspired by the Ford Focus.

(As of press time Ford has not yet confirmed its role in the project.)

Designers Jose Arturo Moreno, Isabel Ayala and Jimena Compean of Monterrey, Mexico call the project “Ford City Bike,” and you can see for yourself how stylish this thing looks.

This sleek bit of future candy looks like it needs a lot of work before reaching the execution stage—Errr, torsion bar steering on a bike?—but it addresses some everyday design problems for commuters:  low/no crossbar for ease of mount and dismount in a skirt; compact design for ease of storage; room for an integrated basket.

According to the mission statement on Moreno’s project website, “the brief was to create a concept bicycle with a futuristic vision where cities are overpopulated and cars are not as essential.”

Hedging a bit, Ford?

“The bicycle is intended to be for executives that drive to work,” he continues, “and leave their cars in common parking lots, and ride the bicycle to get to their offices.”

This is not Ford’s first experiment with commuter bikes. In 2011 they debuted a prototype for their “E-Bike,” which is a lithium-ion and pedal-powered hybrid. Toyota also tried their hand at bike design in 2011 with their Prius Project , which solved a problem that didn’t exist by introducing mind-controlled gear shifting. I haven’t yet to see one of those things on the market, nor do I want to.

I, for one, am all for car companies throwing their engineering muscle behind commuter bike design, but I wouldn’t be surprised if a fully realized “City Bike” turns out to be a glorified accessory to the Focus.

For more pictures, visit Yanko Design.

(All pictures (c) Jimena Compean, Isabel Ayala and Jose Arturo Moreno)