The racing car manufacturer Lotus has just unveiled its Type 136, an exceptional bike designed for competition and inspired by its expertise in Formula 1 and other racing cars.
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The Lotus brand is known for its sports and competition cars, but it is much less so as a manufacturer of cycles. However, she has just revealed her Lotus Type 136, a high-performance electric bike at an exorbitant price. Lotus is not just starting out in the field of cycling, however. In the early 1990s, the brand’s engineering office designed with British bicycle designer Mike Burrows, the Type 108a competition bike with a futuristic look, featuring a carbon and Kevlar monocoque frame.
The team that developed it had worked on the aerodynamics and tested the profiles in the wind tunnel, as they were used to doing with the brand’s cars. With its unique appearance, this Type 108 allowed the United Kingdom to reach first place on the podium at the 1992 Olympic Games. Lotus did it again in the mid-1990s with its Type 110, also profiled and made of carbon. Obviously, these two models were reserved for very high level competition and their production was very limited.
Designed for competition but nevertheless intended for the amateur and above all wealthy public, the Lotus bike remains a featherweight despite its electrical assistance, the components of which are cleverly hidden. ©Lotus
The battery is hidden in a bottle
With its Type 136, Lotus returns to its past as a designer of exceptional bicycles, but this time by switching to electric assistance. Here again, the lines are inspired by the brand’s expertise in aerodynamic profiles for its racing cars. The motor it carries is the Watt Assist Pro from HPS. A motor that weighs only 300 grams. At first glance, it is impossible to know that the bike is electric because the manufacturer has discreetly integrated this motor into the crankset. Made of carbon fiber, it is also a featherweight with its 9.8 kilos despite its electric assistance and its battery.
The latter is very special. It is hidden in the form of a gourd hanging from the frame. It can deliver 193 Wh and up to three hours of pedaling assistance. But, unlike other electric bikes, the Type 136 remains completely usable without assistance given its weight. Lotus is not embarking on mass production and this Formula 1 electric bike will initially be produced in 136 units with a price of 25,000 euros. Beyond this limited production, the following examples will be marketed next year for around 18,000 euros.
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