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As VeloNews.com reported last December, Shimano is adding a second electronic group to its lineup for 2012.
In a press release, Shimano confirmed that the new Ultegra-level group will be called Ultegra Di2 and will have a retail price slightly below that of the current mechanical Dura-Ace group.
The new group isn’t just a heavier version of Dura-Ace Di2, though. It receives a number of updates that significantly improve upon its older brother, the most noteworthy being changes to the system’s wiring.
The original four-wire harness system employed by Dura-Ace Di2 has been replaced with a simpler two-wire harness for Ultegra. Cable diameters have been reduced by 3mm as well, dropping weight and allowing for a lighter profile.
All cable connectors are now identical, simplifying cable selection and easing cable inventory. The shape of the hoods has been changed for better ergonomics, an adjustment made possible by the lack of mechanical internals.
The junction box has been simplified, lending itself to discreet external or internal cable routing.
Both mechanical and electronic versions of Ultegra will receive a cosmetic update in the form of a new glossy gray color.
If Shimano’s regular product cycle is anything to go by, the new group should start showing up as 2012 bikes hit show floors early this fall.