Lotus turns to two-wheelers

LOTUS MOTORCYCLES C-01: If you think it looks like it came out of Hollywood, then your instincts are right on the money.
LOTUS MOTORCYCLES C-01: If you think it looks like it came out of Hollywood, then your instincts are right on the money.

After months of rumours and hearsay, details of the first Lotus motorcycle has finally surfaced.

Engine: Fuel-injected, water-cooled 75-degree 1195cc (105 x 69mm bore/stroke) 8-valve, DOHC 148kW KTM V-twin, with dry-sump lubrication and driving through a 6-speed direct-shift transmission and chain final drive.
Chassis: Frame constructed of Aero tech steel/Titanium/Carbon fibre, with upside-down front forks and twin main suspension struts. 19-inch front wheel, 17-inch rear wheel, twin front vented 320mm disc brakes, single rear 220mm vented disc.
Dimensions: Wheelbase 1645-1660mm, Seat height 710mm, Fuel 10.5L, Weight 181kg.
Launch: No specific date has been announced but a launch is expected to occur before the end of the year.

Following two years of careful planning and intense development, Kodewa has announced the prototype of the first motorcycle to bear the official Lotus marque.

LIGHT, QUICK: The slim 181kg design promises to be a genuine superbike with 148kW on tap.
LIGHT, QUICK: The slim 181kg design promises to be a genuine superbike with 148kW on tap.

Motoring and motorsport fans will recognise the name which has a long history in motorsport including the DTM, German rally championship and Formula 1 and with intentions to be at Le Mans this year with the Lotus T128 LMP endurance car, the C-01 prototypes are now road registered and ready for action.

Kodewa has been granted a license to produce the motorcycle by Group Lotus the racing and sportscar manufacturer and engineering consultancy, established by Colin Chapman in the 50s.

So far the striking machine is known simply as the C-01 and it combines ample power via a 1200cc V-twin engine supplied by KTM, with a distinctive body designed by Daniel Simon, combining carbon fibre, titanium and aerospace quality steel.

The C-01 motorcycle is not designed, engineered or produced by Group Lotus but is the result of a collaboration between motorsport veterans under the leadership of Kodewa, lead by Dr Colin Kolles. The development on the C-01 was carried out with the support of Holzer Group and design guru Daniel Simon. Drawing on their wealth of motorsport experience, the team of engineers has designed a unique high performance superbike.

The C-01 will be available in a range of liveries some of which pay homage to Lotus' sporting pedigree. A customisation service will also be available, limited only by the imagination of the client. With an exclusive production run of just 100 units, superbike collectors and fans of Lotus brand will need to move quickly to secure one, says Kodewa's Dr Colin Kolles.

The original idea to create the C-01 came from Dr Colin Kolles, who says: ''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.''

Commenting on the C-01 Guther 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.'

The Holzer Group has many years of experience in professional motorsport. In the last years, Holzer successfully implemented many motorcycle racing projects projects, including Moto2 (world championship winners) and Moto3, as well as the DTM, German Rally Championship and Formula 1. The Holzer Group are manufacturers in the automotive and aerospace industry but also the metalworking sector.

Designer Daniel Simon said: ''The design process of the C-01 was a labour of love, there were many challenges, ensuring that the bike not only touches your visual senses with its timeless blend of classic appeal and modern execution, but that is safe and ergonomically sound was critical to me. We have worked hard to create a motorcycle with very distinctive features such as a clean main body, an extremely low side profile, a bold stance, a unique air intake, logical partline solutions and clean graphics.''

Simon, has worked with Bugatti Automobiles, and has recently created some of the more sophisticated concept vehicles in Hollywood film history. Among his most recognisable creations are the ‘Lightcycles' in the 2010 Disney picture Tron: Legacy and the ''Bubbleship'' used by Tom Cruise in the recent Universal sci-fi hit Oblivion.

Simon is known for his clean and futuristic concepts, his unique vehicle designs are published as two books, Cosmic Motors and The Timeless Racer.