Shimano Announces Two New Di2 Groupsets and the All-New EP6 Drive Unit
Shimano's latest Di2 technologies won't actually arrive until 2023 but with Eurobike happening this week and several manufacturers displaying the equipment to the public, Shimano's PR department decided to get ahead of the curve and announce their newest additions to the Di2 and E-Bike motor lineups. Below is a summary of their press releases for the XT Di2 groupsets, and the all-new EP6 motor.
XT Di2 Two Ways
Shimano's new XT Di2 lineup features a pair of complimentary drivetrains that sport a trio of shifting modes: Full Manual Shifting, Manual with FREE SHIFT, and Automatic Shifting. The first setting is fairly self explanatory, with FREE SHIFT allowing riders to utilize the motor turning the chain over to move between gears while coasting. Automatic Shifting will work to keep you in the optimum cadence for that speed by moving through the gears automatically, but can be manually overridden should the rider want to. This means that the system will work to keep you in the perfect gear regardless of what you're riding without having to touch the shifter at all.
This is all achieved by integrating the motor and drivetrain with a wired system. This allows it to run seamlessly, and means that users will only have to deal with one charging port when recharging their bike.
There will be two levels of XT Di2 gruppos offered, a 12-speed/10-51t cassette option called HYPERGLIDE+, and an 11-speed/11-50t cassette option called LINKGLIDE. Both groupsets will only be compatible with the new EP6 and EP801 motors, outlined below.
The EP6 and EP801 Motors
Along with the new XT groups, Shimano has announced two new motors, the EP6 and the EP801. The latter is an update of their existing EP8 motor to allow it to work with the new XT Di2 components, while the EP6 aims to provide similar features to the EP801 but at a lower price point, and slightly higher weight. Both motors will deliver 85Nm of peak torque, and a continuous output of 250 W. The motors are also backwards-compatible with previous generations of both Di2 and mechanical Shimano drivetrains.
According to Shimano, the XT Di2 components and motor units will be appearing on complete bikes starting in Q2 2023. They note that "these components will only be available as part of complete bike builds and therefore we do not plan to provide pricing for individual parts or groupsets at this time." Expect to see a review from us in the future as they become available.