17/01/2014 14:00 | By CJ Hubbard, contributor, MSN Cars

Lotus C-01 superbike leaked images

Lotus back on the front foot again - with plans to branch out into motorbikes

Lotus C-01 superbike MCN leaked official images: in pictures (© Motorcycle News)
  • Lotus C-01 superbike MCN leaked official images: in pictures (© Motorcycle News)
  • Lotus C-01 superbike MCN leaked official images: in pictures (© Motorcycle News)
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Our friends at Motorcycle News (MCN) have acquired world exclusive images of a new Lotus C-01 superbike – and have kindly let us reproduce them here.

The images, which come directly from a source inside the factory, show that the kind of original thinking that has made the Norfolk-based sportscar marque such a legend on the four wheels could equally turn it into a two-wheeled force to be reckoned with. The Lotus Motorcycles C-01 superbike looks utterly wild.

As MCN points out, the Lotus superbike has an appearance that is very different to anything else on the market at present. Low slung and long, it looks to match classic motorcycle styling cues with very modern engineering and technology.

Lotus announced plans to move into the world of motorbikes in summer 2013, as we previously reported. But these 'official' renderings of the C-01 are the first real proof that the scheme is progressing.

According to MCN, the C-01 is the product of "a new set-up using the Lotus name under licence". We understand this to be a combination of former Bugatti designer Daniel Simon, the team that ran Lotus’ Le Mans prototype racing car and motorsport business experts the Holzer Group.

Lotus C-01 superbike leaked official design images (© Motorcycle News)

As for technical details, word is that the Lotus superbike will use a 200hp V-twin engine, and Simon has previously confirmed plans to build the machine from exotic, F1-grade materials including carbonfibre and titanium. That does look like a carbonfibre weave on the fairing, doesn’t it.

The design is also said to reference the Lotus 49 racing car, while the colour scheme is a clear nod to the classic JPS black and gold racing livery.

MCN says the Lotus Motorcyles C-01 superbike was initially scheduled to launch at the end of 2013 or the beginning of 2014 – so it could still be on target. But these are the first pictures from the project than anyone has seen. So don’t get your hopes up too much.

Given how Lotus has been struggling to sell its road cars, could this new move prove two wheels good, four wheels bad for the company?

We think the Lotus superbike looks absolutely fantastic – what’s your opinion?

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