British sports car manufacturer Lotus, best known for its illustrious history in racing and road cars, has broken with tradition and unveiled its very first motorbike.

Called the C-01, it is a so-called cafe racer with stunning good looks, thanks to the integral involvement of Daniel Simon, previously a designer with VW and its subsidiary Bugatti, but maybe more influenced in his styling of the C-01 by his work on the design of the ‘light cycles’ in the 2010 remake of the classic futuristic movie ‘Tron’.

Founded in 1952 by Colin Chapman, the Lotus approach to racing and sports cars in general was one of focusing on reducing the weight of a vehicle rather than relying on raw engine power (your author can testify to being scared out of his wits being driven around a racetrack in the UK in a Lotus Elise – at no point was the car actually driving forward in a straight line, effectively skidding all the way around the track).

Chapman famously said “Adding power makes you faster on the straights; subtracting weight makes you faster everywhere.”

This being Lotus’s first foray on two wheels, the company collaborated with racing group Kodewa (a German-based outfit that looks after the Lotus Le Mans car) and tuners Holzer Group to produce their first model.

The motorbike itself is equipped with a 1195cc V-twin engine (75 degree twin) which generates 149 kW, which is equipped with digital ignition adjustment. Another innovation is the transmission of power to the rear wheel, which is via a 6 speed ‘jaw type’ setup with a hydraulic clutch. And, as you would expect of a Lotus machine, it weighs in at a pretty light 180 Kg, thanks to a carbon, titanium and aerospace-grade steel frame with inverted forks, twin-suspension struts and single rear and twin front discs.

“The design process of the C-01 was a labour of love,” said Daniel Simon, “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.”

It will be available in three colour schemes including the classic British racing green (the well known Lotus green/yellow combination), and a Martini colour scheme.

The only two bits of bad news are price and manufacturing numbers. The company has announced the price – a stratospheric €100,000 (or AUD $154,615, for which you could instead get a brand new Mercedes C63 AMG just as a comparison) and it’s been announced that only one hundred will be manufactured, so if you want one, you’d better get in quick.

Deliveries start in August, so let us know if you need to organise a motorbike loan and we’ll get you sorted out as quickly as we can. And let us know when you bring it over, we’d love to do a story!

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