Iconic sports car brand Lotus enters the realm of electrified micro-mobility with a limited-edition sports bicycle boasting what it calls the lightest e-bike motor in existence.
While the automaker has been involved in helping develop sports bicycles before, such as the Lotus Type 108 Olympic individual pursuit bicycle, this is its first foray into the burgeoning e-bike market in Europe. Its new Type 136, initially limited to 136 models, employs a motor from e-bike builder HPS, claiming dual-use functionality, assisted or manual, to allow riders to go further, faster and higher.
The new bike draws some aerodynamic design features from the Type 108 and is handmade in Italy from lightweight carbon fiber frame and top-flight components resulting in a machine weighing 21.5 lbs. (9.8 kg), just a few pounds more than a lightweight racing road bike. It features V-shaped handlebars, wing-shaped forks and vaulted chain stays all to improve aerodynamics at speed.
Also, what looks like a water bottle is really the bike’s lithium-ion battery that can be detached from the frame at the push of a button. The machine’s Watt Assist Pro Motor system is derived from the Mars Lander Project and claims to be the lightest e-bike motor system on the market, weighing just 2.64 lbs. (1.2 kg) in total. The motor, housed in a compact bottom bracket shell, itself weighs only 0.66 lb. (300 g).
The limited-edition First Edition Type 136 is now on sale for an eye-watering $26,538 (€25,000) but the less-expensive standard model, from $19,054 (€17,950) goes on sale in the spring of 2024. Feng Qingfeng, CEO, Lotus Group, comments: “For the past 75 years, Lotus has been relentlessly pushing the boundaries of innovation on the road and track. Type 136 shows that we continue to do so. Launching alongside Eletre, Emeya and Evija (sports cars), it will further expand global perceptions of what to expect from Lotus.”