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If you have eyes and you’ve cast them over words related to Lotuses before, chances are you’ll have read company founder, Colin Chapman’s mantra: “simplify, then add lightness”. But we’re not sure removing two wheels is quite what he had in mind.

Nevertheless, and in the face of some quite major financial difficulties, Lotus has launched a new bike division, announcing its first foray into two wheels. It’s a superbike with the, erm, evocative moniker ‘C-01’.

But to bring this thing to fruition, a number of fairly prominent partners have been brought into the deal. Kodewa of Germany (the guys that built the Lotus Le Mans racer), VW Group designer Daniel Simon (he drew a lot of the Bugatti Veyron, the Lightcycle from Tron: Legacy, and took the time to meet up with Top Gear last year), and Holzer Group (futureland materials specialist, who produce carbon fibre, titanium, and aerospace steel).

Simon 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… Lotus is a glamorous name with a rich history, and the C-01 celebrates it proudly: the shapes of the marvellous Lotus 49 were a main inspiration, and all colour schemes pay homage to iconic Lotus racing liveries, such as the dashing black and gold. The intersection of past and future never fails to fascinate, and so does the unique idea of the C-01.”

So it’ll look good, then. But it won’t be built by, ‘y’know, Lotus… which makes this more of an elaborate licensing deal. Rather like the Lotus F1 team.

You’ll have to wait till next week for better pics, but what d’you reckon TopGear.commers? Is there any appeal here, or d’you think it’s just elaborate marketing? And what would Colin Chapman say?

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