We’ve talked about the stunning Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 Aero Concept before, and how it’s got this whole retro-futurist vibe going on. The fairing seems inspired by old-school race bikes of yore, yet it has a full-color digital instrument cluster instead of traditional gauges. Somewhere underneath all of the sculpted bodywork is the single-cylinder Vitpilen motorcycle thumping out 75 horsepower.
The Aero made its initial debut at the Milan Motorcycle Show in November 2018. Unsurprisingly, people kind of liked it. KISKA and Husqvarna have won awards for their collaborations in the past. The Vitpilen 701 concept picked up an iF Design Award in 2016 at theiF Product Design Awards Competition. Thus, it shouldn’t come as much surprise that the 701 Aero picked up some awards, specifically taking the motorcycle category in the Best of Best Automotive Brand Contest.
The Best of Best Automotive Brand Contest touts itself as being “the only neutral, international design competition for automobile brands [that] honours outstanding product and communication design.” For example, two other recent winners of the contest are the Bentley Continental GT Convertible and the Mercedes-Benz GLS. So Husqvarna is certainly playing with the big boys.
Will any of this translate into a production motorcycle? We can certainly hope. The regular 701 Concept became a production bike after it received such a warm debut, but the 401 Aero has yet to materialize into anything solid. So maybe the Aero line of concepts will continue to remain just a set of styling exercises for the Husqvarna designers, while the regular Concept line will be used to test the waters for future production bikes? That makes sense in a “return on investment we’d like to turn a profit” sense of mind, but I’d love to live in a world where those kooky Swedes are just churning out all the wildest two-wheeled spaceships they can dream up.