Lotus designs racing bike for the 2020 Summer Olympics

Lotus hasn’t launched a new car in a while, preferring instead to produce endless variations of its existing models. The next new four-wheeled Lotus is probably a few years away, but the British automaker has a new two-wheeled creation. The company’s engineering division has partnered with bicycle company Hope Technology to design a racing bike, which will be used by the UK cycling team at the 2020 Summer Olympics.

The famous maxim of Lotus founder Colin Chapman was “simplify and add lightness”. A racing bike is about as simple and light as it gets. According to Lotus, minimizing weight without compromising the strength of the bike frame was a priority. The company said it was primarily responsible for the front fork and handlebars, and worked with Hope Technology to integrate these parts into the rest of the bike. According to Lotus, engineers worked to maximize stiffness and forward feel to improve rider confidence. The process had a lot in common with automotive design.

Just like when designing a new sports car, the bike and its rider were tested in a wind tunnel. The bike also had to comply with the latest rules, enacted following the 2016 Olympics. Harnessing the rules for maximum performance is something Lotus is well aware of. Back in her days racing in Formula 1, Lotus was one of the more innovative teams on the grid, bending the rules (and sometimes breaking them) with smart engineering to gain an edge over other teams.

Lotus also has some experience in cycle racing. In the 1990s – around the time the original Lotus team left Formula 1 – Lotus developed a series of racing bikes for Chris Boardman. He won a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics and the 1994 Tour de France prologue time trial on bikes designed by Lotus.

Lotus has built some of the greatest sports cars in history, but the company is now just a shadow of itself. The Lotus range currently consists of three aging models: the Elise, Exige and Evora. Only the Evora is currently sold in the United States. But Lotus is making a bold comeback with an electric hypercar called Evija (pronounced “e-vi-ya.”). Scheduled to launch in 2020, Lotus claims the Evija will have 2,000 horsepower and cost between $ 1.9 million and $ 2.5 million. It’s a big step forward compared to a bicycle.

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