Last summer, British sports and racing car manufacturer Lotus announced plans to start a new motorcycle division. The decision came following a disastrous fiscal year in 2012 in which Lotus posted a $200 million loss and fired then CEO Dany Bahar.
And after seeing the initial concept images, one better believe that Lotus made the right decision. The Lotus C-01 Superbike most closely resembles the Light Cycle from Disney's Tron: Legacy, a bike that every motorcycle enthusiast has pined over since the movie's release in 2010. The resemblance is no coincidence - the lead designer on the project was world-renowned designer Daniel Simon.
Simon is a former designer for Bugatti Automobiles but has since left the commercial side of business to design for movies and other entertainment outlets. Simon's most notable designs are the Light Cycle from Tron: Legacy, the "Bubbleship" from Tom Cruise's Oblivion, and most recently several pieces from Captain America: The First Avenger:
“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 always fascinates, and so does the unique idea of the C-01,” stated Simon.
Simon was not the only person brought in by Lotus to assist with the project. In fact, Lotus essentially has nothing to do with the project besides lending a name and resources (reflecting the company's new trend toward marketing and branding rather than creating). Along with Simon, Lotus partnered with Kodewa, a German auto-racing team, and the Holzer Group, the company responsible for the development, production, and assembly of Lotus motorcycles.
The CEO of the Holzer Group was among the first to ride the bike and had nothing but rave reviews: "...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 Lotus C-01 will have a limited run of 100 bikes and will cost customers a nice chunk of change at around $140,000, mainly due to the use of carbon-fiber, titanium, and aerospace quality steel. The bike is customizable, though, making the price-tag a bit more tempting.
Image via Lotus Motorcycles