IN THE WIND WITH LOTUS
Legendary Automaker Builds A Superbike
To Travel The Midas Road
To Travel The Midas Road
Some time ago, Lotus announced that it was going to establish a motorcycle division. This much to the surprise of people who'd been assuming all the long that Lotus was already building motorcycles, in the form of cars so minimalist that they could be best described as a motorcycle with four wheels. Quoting from the press release – "The Lotus C-01 will be a hyper bike with integrated racing technology. It will be manufactured of materials like carbon, titanium and aerospace quality steel… It will be a state of the art motorbike powered by an approximately 200 horsepower engine." Plenty enough information, when added to the well-established Lotus legend, to fire up everyone's imagination. But apparently not enough. It's not very often that an artist concept of an upcoming vehicle is more conservative that the vehicle itself turns out to be, but read on to see just how far behind the curve they were…
The new motorcycle division, Lotus Motorcycles, is a joint project with Lotus racing partner Kodewa of Germany as well as car designer Daniel Simon and the Holzer Group. Kodewa is the race car constructor behind Lotus’ Le Mans and World Endurance programs and has been involved with DTM and Formula One racing in the past.
The original idea to create the C-01 came from Kodewa's Dr. Colin Kolles. Speaking about the project he said: "We set out to create a bike that isn't just great to ride but also represents a piece of art in motion. Over the years I have seen my fair share of style over substance, what this bike brings to the market is a unique combination of both: state of the art technology with a truly jaw-dropping aesthetic."
Daniel Simon, meanwhile, is a former Volkswagen Group man and was one of the key designers behind the Bugatti Veyron’s shape. More recently he’s been designing for Hollywood, with the 'Lightcycle' from Tron: Legacy being one of his movie-related projects.
Simon, who is known for his clean and holistic concepts, said of the new Lotus C-01: "We have only one ambition--to create a unique state-of-the-art machine that carries its brutal forces with elegance and style, a high-tech monster in a tailored suit.”
Finally, the Holzer Group is responsible for production of advanced materials such as titanium, carbon fiber and aerospace steel. These will feature predominantly in the construction of the C-01 superbike.
Commenting on the C-01 Günther Holzer, CEO of Holzer Group said: "I was one of the first people to ride it and I have to say I was very impressed. Together we have found that delicate balance between raw, aggressive power and breath-taking handling. The team has created something very special, it looks incredible, it sounds fantastic but above all, the ride is sensational. I'm very happy."
A 75-degree V-twin displacing 1,195 cc puts out 200 horsepower, powers the rear wheel through a six-speed jaw-type transmission and hydraulic clutch. Electronic engine management with digital ignition adjustment ensures optimum performance. Inverted forks, twin suspension struts, a steel/carbon/titanium fame, twin front disc brake and single rear disc, and an aggressive frame/suspension geometry complete the high-performance package.
Lotus plans to offer the C-01 in a range of liveries honoring the company's four-wheeled racing heritage, as well as a fully-customizable ordering process.
The company claims only 100 examples will be built, at a price of approximately $137,000.
Ah, well. At least it exists. And I may yet win the lottery before my 250th birthday.