Lotus is Building the Lotus C-01, a Motorcycle Designed by Daniel Simon

Lotus Motorcycles is building a new motorcycle designed by Daniel Simon

Lotus enters the motorcycle business with the Lotus C-01 designed by Daniel Simon

This should be interesting, Lotus, a name known for legendary sports and racing cars, is about to enter the motorcycle business. The designer will be Daniel Simon, and if the name doesn't ring a bell immediately, he's the guy we mentioned some time back when he brought out the design book, Cosmic Motors. He's also the man behind a lot of movie vehicles for Captain America, Tron Legacy and the new movie, Oblivion. He previously worked for Bugatti, Lamborghini and VW. In other words, he's no young kid with a new computer, he's done some fantastic work.

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.

Translating his designs to the world of motorcycles where actual function is important, is going to be a challenge, but seeing some really new ideas will be refreshing.

Nothing to see yet, but they're promising images in the next few weeks. Make sure you go to Simon's website too, browsing his portfolio is a treat.

Press release follows:

Berlin , June 21. (BNA) -- 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, a former designer for Bugatti Automobiles, who has recently created some of the most sophisticated concept vehicles in Hollywood film history. Amongst his most recognizable creations 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 is also responsible for the 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, 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.”

The development, production and assembly of the Lotus motorcycle will be carried out by Holzer Group, which has gained many years of experience in professional motorsport. In the last years, Holzer successfully implemented many projects, including German Touring car Championship DTM, German Rally Championship and Formula 1. Renowned manufacturers in the automotive and aerospace industry but also the metalworking sector trust in the competent know-how of the mid-sized business.

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.

Links: Daniel Simon
Link: Lotus Motorcycles


  1. Doug says

    A press release without even a rendering? Hype in the motorcycle industry has reached a new high and low

    • Decline says

      Typical teaser. Countless cars have been “shown” draped in sheets or with so little lighting you can’t see anything but a headlight.

  2. Paul Crowe says

    The image at the top is clearly, … probably, … could be the side of the tank, or something, but, yes, some images would have been nice.

    I have confidence renderings will show up soon, though, Daniel Simon has probably delivered on that point. What will be more interesting is how long before those become a real moving motorcycle.

  3. Hawk says

    I wonder what Colin (Chapman) would think? Or Clive ….?

    Many years ago, I was supposed to meet Colin but a last minute glitch prevented the trip. Three weeks later, Colin passed away. Truly a missed opportunity if there ever was one. The resurrection of the Lotus name has been bitter-sweet to Clive. On one hand, losing control of his father’s company but on the other, seeing it blossom again ….. offshore with Malaysian money. Interesting that the Daniel Simon site lists Lotus Motorcycles in Germany. I wonder if the Renault F1 engineers will have a hand in the engine design? Can you say, “18 thousand”?

  4. says

    To me it’s only interesting news if they do their own engine. If they are going to do their own frame and then toss in someone else’s engine and a bunch of third party suspension bits then it’s hardly a Lotus and might as well be a Gilroy Indian.

  5. rohorn says

    Yeah, what Lotus did in the past with boring engines like the Cosworth Ford DFV, Coventry Climax, etc… tells me that they can’t build a cutting edge bike with someone else’s engine.

    Are commenters to young and ignorant (Or old and stupid) to know what Bimota was originally famous for?

    High performance motorcycle design has been very stagnant for 20+ years (Since about the time when the Japanese surpassed Bimota). If Lotus can do better, hey, great.

    No, I’m not holding my breath.

    • Doug says

      another compelling comment from rohorn

      I would add Erik Buell in 3 ways:

      1. British motor that he made more reliable after buying the rights to it

      2. Using HD motors in his own street bike after the AMA changed the rules for the bike in #1

      3. Using a Rotax-built engine that is powering a world-class motorcycle now.

      Also add Motus – they brought something very unique & worthy to a segment aching for character. A segment that is always on the cusp of being much larger.

      Having the resources to build your own motor is ideal, getting to market sooner by collaborating with others is reality.

      – the first Doug

    • Scotduke says

      I’m not sure I’d agree high performance motorcycle design has been boring for the last 20 years. Ducati in particular has made some stunning motorcycles. And I do see them on the roads too.

      I’m curious about this Lotus bike but I’m sure it’d be out of my price league. The Lotus cars are nice and I did nearly buy one once, a long time ago (but that’s another story). Right now Lotus is having tough times with low sales, despite the innovation of the current car range. The owner, Proton in Malaysia, isn’t very happy how things are going. Maybe the bike will be something to lift the company’s fortunes, maybe not.

  6. Mike the Bike says

    Most of us have seen this type of excercise before- and that’s exactly what it is. Call it marketing, brand management and awareness, brand equity building, public relations, whatever. There’ll never be any Lotus motorcycle. Never be a complete start up, with propriatary motor and running gear, dealer network, parts distribution network, race team, etc. Realistically, to anybody under say, 40 years old, Lotus or Colin Chapman has no meaning. May as well be the name of a software company. This is to get the brand’s name in the public eye…hey, we’re talking about them, right?

  7. Gregjet says

    I think it is a pity that a company that has made small giant killer motorcars is going to make a large capacity motorcycle. Big bikes may have no future ( maybe). Look at what is happening to cars. A smaller capacity ( and comparatively cheaper ) motorcycle that eats big ones would fit better with Lotus history. One, two or MAYBE 3 cyls.. But then I never liked inline 4’s in motorcycles nor large capacity bikes much so it is probably just me.

    • todd says

      In-line fours have been the cornerstone of Lotus history. If it’s power AND capacity leading torque you’re after, it would be purely marketing reasons why you build something else.


    • Renegade_Azzy says

      Well Tesla seemed to do good with proving that they could enter the market with the bog and flashy, and then used that market confidence to start on the somewhat reasonable.

  8. says

    I’m old enough to have watched Jim Clark race so I have a pretty good idea of what Lotus did in the past. I will hold to my thought that if they are merely going to stuff a Japanese or Italian production engine into a Lotus frame they won’t have really done any more than the Moto 2 teams are doing.

  9. Gregjet says

    Maybe they could buy the Italian Hunqvana factory and use their real expertise. Look what those guys did for the BMW motors they used. A Lotus-Italian Husky could be interesting, Especially using the Rotax 800twin with Lotus touches and handling…..er… maybe not… I have a TR650 Strada and what they did with the motor is wonderful but a decent handling road bike with a 19″front wheel went out with the 70’s.

  10. todd says

    I don’t get the “Lotus” connection. Wouldn’t this bike be a “Kodewa?”


  11. Bicho says

    Add lightness……100-120Kg max…than put in a 300ccm 3 cylinder 2stroke 100-120Hp!!!

  12. Bicho says

    Or just build whatever gives us 1Kg:1Hp!……Google,ROSMOTO sotto peso,and start scratching your head(s),LOTUS!!!!

  13. fred says

    Just what the market needs in this time of economic unsteadiness, another super expensive, boutique exercise in exclusivity for the wealthy.

  14. v4racer says

    Because car manufacturers always do so well when they diversify into motorcycles…

    • todd says

      let’s not be confused, Lotus is NOT building a motorcycle any more than Michael Jordan builds tennis shoes.


  15. Tin Man says

    Lotus is a respected enginnering firm that does design work for others all over the world, If they choose to design and sell a bike , more power to them. There are no secrets out there about motorcycle design, its pretty darn simple compared to many others products. The magic is in marketing and the Lotus name is a force among educated motorheads. I agree with others who believe Lotus should follow their heritage and build a small capacity lite weight vehicle with 2 or maybe 3 cylinders, maybe a modern Triumph engine in a Lotus Chassis. The market is flooded with cheap Hi Po inline 4s, nobody cares, build something a bit different with character and it may be worth a look.

    • Hooligan says

      The latest Caterham – a new version of the Lotus 7 has a 3 cylinder turbocharged Suzuki engine from the Jimney and another of their cars.

  16. mullet says

    I disagree (to a point) about nobody caring. If lotus could somehow produce (or at least modify) a 600cc inline 4 that met the quoted 200hp, I personally would be VERY interested. Highly unlikely, but still an interesting thought. I actually hope they produce a 750-1000cc V4 with an insane rev ceiling, but that’s just me

  17. gregjet says

    Just read on another site that the LOTUS is a licenced NAME ONLY. there will be no Lotus input into the project

    • todd says

      I thought that was obvious already – not by the comments, but from the original press release included above.


  18. says

    Lotus motorcycles Horex motorcycles and Ducati are all ultimately owned by Volkswagen/Audi group (Holzen group is made up of board directors at VW/Audi)
    so they are already in the motorcycle business . This is a marketing stategy to make an EXOTIC MOTORCYCLER CLASS like the EXOTIC AUTOMOBILE CLASS .
    Bugatti is also a Subsiderary of VW /AUDI . The HOREX engine uses a Derivitive of the Bugatti engine . So the Lotus will most likely use the Horex supercharged 1200cc V-6 that makes ……200 rwhp .

  19. dimitri says

    probably vague marketing is in vogue nowadays. This whole press release really says nothing. This guy supposedly designed the Bugutti. What for gods sake did he design. The gear knob! He designed the le mans lotus car. All he did was the livery. What are we talking about here. Not any reasonably person can take this humbug serious.