Lotus to build its first motorcycle
Motorcycle design is all about light weight and compact packaging - the two engineering principles that were closest to the heart of Lotus founder Colin Chapman - so it's not all that far out in left field that the brand is working on its first motorcycle, to be called the Lotus C-01.
Lotus Motorcycles is a joint project of Japanese racing car company Kodewa, car designer Daniel Simon and specialised motorsport component manufacturer Holzer.
Without giving any details, it says the C-01 will be made of carbon fibre, titanium and aerospace quality steel, with an engine of about 149kW - which probably means a high-revving litre-class four - using a lot of Formula One technology.
Kodewa, which has an extensive background in Formula One, German Touring Car and endurance racing, is responsible for the new Lotus T128 LMP2 racing car and is running the Lotus LMP2 programme in the World Endurance championship.
FUTURISTIC CONCEPT VEHICLES
Holzer subsidiary Performance GmbH specialises in small production runs of precision components made on CNC machine tools directly linked to CAM workstations.
Simon, a former designer for Bugatti, has more recently been responsible for some of the most futuristic concept vehicles in Hollywood films, including the 'Lightcycle' in Tron: Legacy and the Bubbleship used by Tom Cruise in the recent science-fiction film Oblivion.
He has described the C-01 as "a high-tech monster in a tailored suit, emotional, at times playfully retro, and always clearly a Lotus?".
Lotus, he says, is a glamorous name with a rich history, and the C-01 celebrates that, taking inspiration from the shape of the successful Lotus 49 and finished, of course, in the black and gold livery made famous by the legendary Lotus 72.
The teaser above is apparently a shot of the C-01's carbon-fibre fuel tank. Lotus has promised more detailed images in the weeks to come; as soon as we see them, so will you.