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Lotus getting into the motorcycle business

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' started by Justin Stacks, Jun 23, 2013.

  1. Apologies if this has already been posted.



    Lotus founder Colin Chapman is famously quoted as saying something to the effect of "Simplify, then add lightness." We're a bit amazed that it took this long, but someone appears to be taking that message to heart at the British marque, losing a couple of wheels, a clutter of bodywork and a whole mess of weight. No, Lotus isn't planning another spindly Seven-style trackday racer, it's getting into motorcycles.

    Well, sort of. As an automaker, Lotus apparently isn't directly behind this two-wheeled effort, but it does appear to have officially lent its brand and logo to a new company, Lotus Motorcycles, which counts formerVolkswagen Group designer Daniel Simon, Germany's Holzer Group and auto racing team Kodewa among its partners. The latter builds and races Lotus' T128 Le Mans Prototype in the World Endurance Championship series.

    The new company is touting an as-yet unseen motorcycle, a racing-inspired "hyper bike" called C-01, releasing only the image above – a carbon fiber fuel tank trimmed in Lotus' trademark black and gold livery. Details are tough to come by, but the project is said to include a powertrain good for around 200 horsepower and construction involving titanium, carbon fiber and aerospace-grade steel.

    The C-01's shape will come from Simon, a designer who has not only worked at Bugatti, he's also credited with a few Hollywood fantasymobiles, including the Lightcycle from Tron: Legacy and more recently the "Bubbleship" spacecraft used by Tom Cruise in Oblivion. The company promises that the legendary Lotus 49 racecar was a "main inspiration" in its conception, and "all color schemes pay homage to iconic Lotus racing liveries." We can't wait to see more, but we'll have to – at least a little while. The company says we can expect further images and information in "the next few weeks." For more, check out the company's statement released via Facebook by scrolling below.
    Show full PR text
    Lotus Motorcycles to build its own and first ever motorcycle

    Lotus Motorcycles was established to design and build the first motorcycle of the iconic car manufacturer. The bike will be named Lotus C-01 and will be the most impressive appearance on public roads on two wheels. It will reflect a combination of lifestyle, design and high end technology.

    Lotus Motorcycles is a joint project of Kodewa, car designer Daniel Simon and the Holzer Group. 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, which are also used in Formula 1. Safety, ergonomics and design are the most important factors the design team has put emphasis on. It will be a state of the art motorbike powered by an approximately 200 horsepower engine.

    Kodewa has recently built the new sports car Lotus T128 LMP (Le Mans Prototype) and is running the Lotus LMP2 program in the FIA World Endurance Championship. The team of Kodewa comprises of experts with a lot of knowledge and experience not only in endurance racing but also Formula 1, DTM and lower formulas.

    The unique shapes of Lotus Motorcycles will be penned by renowned designer Daniel Simon. Simon, a former designer for Bugatti Automobiles, has lately been responsible for some of the most sophisticated concept vehicles in Hollywood film history. Amongst his most recognizable contributions are the 'Lightcycle' in the 2010 Disney motion picture 'Tron: Legacy' and the 'Bubbleship' used by Tom Cruise in the recent Universal Sci-Fi hit 'Oblivion'. The German was also designing the famous black and gold livery of the Lotus LMP2 sports cars.

    Daniel Simon is known for his clean and holistic concepts. The designer says: "With the 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. The C-01, with all its top notch components and materials, is first and foremost emotional, heartbreaking, at times playfully retro, and always clearly a Lotus. Lotus is a glamorous name with a rich history, and the C-01 celebrates it proudly: the shapes of the marvelous Lotus 49 were a main inspiration, and all color schemes pay homage to iconic Lotus racing liveries, such as the dashing black and gold. The intersection of past and future never fails to fascinate, and so does the unique idea of the C-01."

    Within the Holzer Group, the Performance GmbH is involved in the development process. The components made of titanium, carbon fibre and aerospace steel will be produced by RPC GmbH, which is also part of Holzer Group and Kodewa. Latest CNC machines linked with CAM workstations ensure highest precision and optimal workflow of the complex procedures. Because of quality inspections before, during and after the production process, a safety-related and faultless production is ensured.

    In the next few weeks, images of Lotus Motorcycles will be released and will give a first insight into what to expect from the new Lotus C-01.

  2. Lotus Motorcycles?

    Awesome.....they'll probably:

    1. Look really good
    2. Sound really good
    3. Go really hard
    4. Once
    • Funny Funny x 5
  3. and 5. A normal sized person will be too tall to ride it.
  4. And then a better 'build it yourself' kit model will be release for a quarter of the price and it will be 4 times as good.
  5. L ots
    O f
    T rouble
    U sually
    S erious
  6. I'd buy it just for the tank artwork, but then I wear Ray Ban sunglasses and Calvin Klein jocks ;)
  7. You old squid you
  8. Certainly for their older cars, no doubt. Their newish Elise and Evora fit us lanky 6'4 blokes poifectly tho'. Not just "I can fit between the floor and the roof without my neck bent on a funny angle" - I'm talking "wheel, gear selector and pedals almost perfectly placed for someone 98th percentile height". :D

    Part of me wonders if that's because their CEO throughout the late 90s and early 2000s is 6'4. I imagine him brandishing a whip at the Lotus engineers, threatening them with a flogging (or a sacking) if they make cars which he can't drive comfortably. :D
  9. Like when, I can only think of Caterham. But the 7 was originally a kit and I'm not sure the cars got any cheaper when they bought the rights.
  10. Lotus 7 kit was much cheaper because of some euro (I think) tax that had to apply to manufactured cars but not kits.
  11. I wasn't a euro think it was a British thing the euro VAT abolished it and the tax advantage of selling kits.

    But Lotus sold the kit right up until the Se7ens sale to Caterham.

    I worked next to the Caterham workshop for a while and say the people show up to do the short build a the Factory to avoid Type Approval (I believe).
  12. Chapman's passion for simplicity and lightness is probably what killed Jimmy Clark....
  13. There's no evidence whatsoever that a fault with the car caused Clarke's death.

    It's a bit like the Senna crash, people just refuse to believe that some drivers can make a mistake.

    As far as I'm aware the current theory is tyre failure.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  14. I'm not sure getting a steering tie rod through his eye was entirely Senna's fault
  15. Well i'm 6"4 so i'm not going to embarrass myself trying to get on a Lotus.
  16. Yeah but the accident that broke it probably was.
  17. im thinking lightcycle cross with a Sachas madass....
  18. It will probably be amazing and $50k :(
    Think I'd rather an elise.
  19. Don't see why not. The older cars fit people who are 5'8" because Chunky himself was 5'8".

    The Westfield is the obvious one. Westfield started out in the early 80s manufacturing a kit for a Lotus 11 replica which took the mechanicals from your rusted out Spridget. Then they introduced a pretty much exact replica of the S1 Seven, also using Spridget mechanicals, which was reasonably authentic because, in 1957, Lotus hadn't become quite so entwined with Ford as they were later to become so you could specify your Seven with a BMC engine/gearbox and, AFAIK, back axle if you wanted it that way. Then, somewhere in the period when I was away from cars and involved in other stuff, a metamorphosis seems to have taken place, skipping anything really resembling the S3 Seven and turning into a serious Clubman tool in their own right.

    The pricing thing was the UK's Car Tax, which didn't apply to commercial vehicles or anything you assembled yourself so you saved something like 30% if you bought your Lotus in bits. Given the factory's somewhat dodgy reputation for quality control, you also stood a decent chance of having a car that was rather better screwed together too.

    I dunno. Given the horrendous toll that motor racing took of even its top talent at the time, I'm more inclined to think that the odds just caught up with him.

    On that note, a few months ago there was some old footage of Le Mans in the Jaguar years of the mid-50s, complete with period commentary. It was quite sobering to realise that the majority of the names mentioned by the commentators were dead before the end of the decade. In fact the only stand out who wasn't was Moss and he came damn close in '62. Things didn't really seem to improve all that much until, maybe, the early 70s.
  20. Fair amount of evidence supports the theory that the component failure is what sent him off, I've watched that video many times and I agree with that conclusion.
    I wouldn't trust Frank Williams as far as I could kick him, wheelchair and all.