Here Comes the “Lotus” C-01 200hp Hyperbike

06/24/2013 @ 11:31 am, by Jensen Beeler15 COMMENTS


Perhaps one of the more interesting stories to break over the weekend, we get word that Lotus is making a 200 horsepower motorcycle…well, sort of. You see the Lotus C-01 is a venture between the tuners at the Holzer Group and the Kodewa car racing effort, with the design being penned by the very talented Daniel Simon.

Where does Lotus the car manufacturer come into all of this? Well, in name only, as it seems that the British marque’s only contribution to the project is lending its name to the motorcycle (it’s debatable as to whether we would be talking about the C-01 if the word “Lotus” didn’t come before the model designation).

Details are light at this point, with the press release drawing heavy lines between the C-01 project and Formula 1 technology. There is also mention of a 200hp figure , as well as the use of carbon, titanium, and “aerospace quality” steel.

If you haven’t figured it out already, we are rolling our eyes pretty hard at all the hype and marketing parlor tricks that are going on here with this Lotus motorcycle; however there does seem to be some hope for an intriguing machine to come from all of this.

If the name Daniel Simon doesn’t ring a bell to you, his most famous work, the Tron Lightcycle should certainly be familiar (he’s worked for some obscure car brands as well, like Lamborghini and Bugatti). It wasn’t too long ago that we were gushing about Simon’s work for the Tron: Legacy movie, as well as his own personal design project: Cosmic Motors (treat yourself, and buy the book). Having Simon on the project should mean for a very futuristic and fresh two-wheeled design, and speaking only for myself here, is enough to get me excited about the C-01.

The inclusion of Kodewa brings a certain technical and managerial expertise to the group, having run a bevy of racing teams for the past decade. Most recently, Kodewa has been in charge of the Lotus LMP2 effort, which runs races like the Le Mans 24-heure in the FIA World Endurance Championship, so there should be no surprise how it got included in the project’s effort, as it seems to be the most direct link to the Lotus brand.

Of a similar technical mind, the Holzer Group is known for its car-tuning prowess, which could bring some interesting developments from the four-wheeled world into the realm of two-wheels. It also goes without saying that Holzer knows how to build an engine or two, which will be the biggest hurdle in this project.

With all the partners in this joint-venture being heavy-hitters in their respective fields, and the simple fact that they must have some serious coin behind them to license the Lotus brand for their motorcycle project, it will be interesting to see what comes from the C-01. No doubt, the bar has already been set very high by fans of the British marque.

A performance-based motorcycle is an intricate machine to design and make, and this group is aiming to create perfection in its first try — not an easy task. Then again, if you were going to pick some names to undertake such a effort, we imagine the list would be short, and these folks would be near the top.

In a couple weeks’ time, Lotus Motorcycles plans to debut the first photos of the C-01, so until then. The group’s press release can be found below.

Press Release from Lotus Motorcycles:

“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, heart-breaking, 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 marvellous Lotus 49 were a main inspiration, and all colour 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.”

Source: Lotus Motorcycles (Facebook)

  • Autolegend

    Petronas FP1. Version 2.0

  • TexusTim

    Holzer Horex VR6 ? 15 degree 3 vavles per cylinder and supercharged ?

  • Jay

    Carbon Fiber? Titanium? What bold choices! This surely will be a machine unlike anything we’ve ever seen.

    Seriously though, considering the sportbikes BMW and Ducati offer these days, the C-01 would need to be a seriously radical departure from the mainstream to look innovative. Britten radical. Hub center steering radical. And much as I would love to see some crazy motorcycle of the future come out of this, I really doubt it’ll be anything beyond a Panigale R.

    Prove me wrong Lotus!

  • FafPak

    There is one item they didn’t list: Unobtainium! It most likely wont be cheap :)

  • CTK

    So much wrong with this. For starters this is the company that completely abandoned a revitalization plan and ejected its CEO. OK so its not ACTUALLY that company, but it’s close enough in unsubstantiated hype to make that mistake.

    The folks building this bike have no motorcycle experience; just car racing. And they want to go up against the big boys in one go? Who is financing this train wreck? Thankfully we don’t need to put hope in this thing so it can come and go with no harm to anyone but Lotus’ already destroyed legacy

  • Ren-Jr.

    Sooo…. Not one mention of someone who either works with, or has designed motorcycles before. This should be interesting… ;)

  • Damo

    I am sure it will be fast, look cool, be massively overpriced and STILL not be able to out perform last years Fireblade around a circuit.

    Oh well the more people playing in the pool the better I say. It isn’t like Lotus doesn’t have a massive group of engineering talent to pull from. I am sure they will come up with something neat.

  • paulus – Thailand

    “Safety, ergonomics and design are the most important factors the design team has put emphasis on. ”

    Safety is the most important factor… seat belts, roof, extra wheels for stability, more lights…. it’s a car! LOL
    Performance and function seem a long way down the list for a motorcycle.

    Strangely, looking forward to seeing what it is… but not having high expectations

  • Norm G.

    as someone on MCN eluded:

    2 words… NORTON NEMESIS.

  • smiler

    All they have to do is substitute the word C 01 motorcycle with the word Esprit and 200bhp with 600bhp. Then we would all be much happier with Lotus.

    As it is their cars are looking long in the tooth, their cannot pay their suppliers and Dani’s ambitious (at least) plan for Lotus has been shelved to make one off motorcycles, something they have never done and unless they make many or a decent range will do so for about a year.

    Daniel Simon the talented FILM motorcycle designer

    How do you make this look like a motorcycle without it looking crap:

    It would be better if they were just doing some consulting work for the other 2 companies.

    Come on Lotus, new Esprit, Exige and a new dry sump twin turbo V6 & V8 please

  • smiler

    Change name from C-01 to Esprit, add 2 wheels, change 200BHP to 600BHP and four cylinder to twin turbo V8. Everyone happy.
    Lunacy from a company that cannot afford to be doing this kind of thing.

  • alexssss

    I’d trust a British super bike about as far as I could throw it, which after spontaneously combusting might be rather difficult

  • Mariani

    I’ve been a regular on A&R ever since I got hold of Jensen’s remarkable “The Chrysanthemum and the Sword” critic of Honda, but I never quite found any reason to post.

    That is, until now.

    I grew up liking cars, and I remained very much a car bloke until not so long ago.
    I am a purist [as any proper petrol head should be], and as such, I became more and more distant from the entire automotive scene the more I learned about it.
    And so, ‘not so long ago’ I just gave up on the whole thing and went on to the motorcycle world, the one that I aways had a secret crush on.

    The reason why I am saying this here, and now, is because of this travesty of a brand that Lotus became.
    In many ways it reflects what has happened to the entire performance car scene.
    The ‘driver’s car’ scene, if you will.

    When I call them a travesty, I’m talking about their plans to make more luxurious, heavier, hybrid cars [just what people would expect from an Elise] as well as them abandoning a F1 team for not performing the way they hoped to, and then painting racing cars in black and gold and calling those things a Lotus.
    They have set themselves to trade substance for brand recognition, the kind of thing that pushed me away from cars in the first place.

    I know that you probably can’t be bothered to talk about such things on this particular blog, as all you do is bully the Japanese brands for not having plastic fins on it’s fairings and a whole lot of marketing to back it up [ha!], but, by seeing brands like Lotus coming to the very place I went in order to scape them, I feel like I’ve been cornered.
    Which is why I feel particularly hostile towards this.

  • Norm G.

    tell ya what lotus, before you build ANYTHING, let me see several sketches (and dammit I mean several) of the bike. i’ll look them over, curse them or give them my blessing. THEN you can cut metal. and note, I only authorize 2 bikes be built (same as Suzuki) for the dog and pony show of promotions, so don’t go getting ahead of yourself. do that, then we’ll decide the next step.

  • paulus

    Much like Norton’ss TT efforts… Lotus will supply the tank badges.