The new type 136 is described by Lotus as an electrified, track-inspired performance bike.
Lotus said that the aero design has been inspired by Lotus’ gold medal-winning bikes, from the iconic Type 108 bike at the 1992 Barcelona Games, to the most recent Hope/Lotus track bike, which saw the GB track cycling team top the medal table at Tokyo 2020.
The handmade bike features V-shaped handlebars and wing-shaped forks, designed in-house by Lotus, and a frame ‘carved by air in a virtual wind tunnel’. The bike has a full carbon monocoque frame construction, pioneered in the design of the type 108 and 110.
Lotus claimed that what makes the bike truly unique is its dual-use functionality, as a thoroughbred, mechanical road bike, and a light-weight e-bike.
The whole bike, including the battery, weighs 9.8kg, which Lotus said makes it the lightest e-bike on the market.
The WATT Assist pro motor weighs 300g, packs 125W/kg, and provides up to three hours of all-electric ride time, with a '35 per cent advantage' on climbs, according to HPS.
Lotus added that the ‘Watt Assist Pro Motor system’ is derived from the Mars Lander Project, where limited weight and zero maintenance were critical factors to the mission’s success.
A compact bottom bracket shell integrates the motor into the bike’s frame, and the electric battery is disguised as a detachable water bottle.
Announced at the launch of the type 136 yesterday (November 1, 2023), the bike is priced at £20,000 and available as an exclusive limited first edition launch production run of just 136 bikes.
The standard model is reportedly set to go on sale in spring of 2024.
In a statement, brand ambassador, Sir Chris Hoy, said: “It’s hard to overstate the impact the Lotus type 108 had on my career, and my life. I can still remember listening to Chris Boardman win gold in Barcelona, in 1992. It was the first gold medal for Britain in 72 years, and it inspired me to ride.
“I’ve been waiting to ride a Lotus bike since I was 16, and it didn’t disappoint. With e-bikes, the risk is that they’re bigger, heavier. With this bike, it still feels like a proper, high-performance bike. It’s light-weight, even when you’re not using the motor it still feels like an impressive bike, but with that extra trick up your sleeve.”
Danny Barnes, project lead for the type 136, said: “Riders', like Sir Chris’, opinions and feedback are very important for us. It’s all about how the bike feels for riders. Getting all of the very detailed feedback, for how it feels when you’re descending, ascending, is crucial in developing the technology.
“We used mechanical testing, taking the frame and construction to breaking-point. But more than that, it’s the rider testing. We’re still working with our partners HPS in Monaco, to conduct countless amounts of rides, with every single step of the performance recorded. We’ve obtained reams and reams of data, that has fed into the overall design. The bike, the frame, the motor, it all gels together to create the unique and progressive 136.”