By Daniel Simon for Lotus
If you're outside of the design and concept art world you may have never heard the name Daniel Simon. For those within the industry he's something of a living legend. Chances are you're familiar with his work but have never had a name put to it. He started his career designing for Volkswagen, where he worked on vehicle design for Seat and Lamborghini. Later he would assist in the revitalizing of the Bugatti brand, working on the Veyron. He also publishes concept art books, the first being Cosmic Motors - a book that came out while I was still in design school. It stopped me dead in my tracks and made me reevaluate my entire approach to concept design.More recently he's been lead vehicle designer for movies like Tron: Legacy, Oblivion and Prometheus. He's just published his 2nd concept art book titled The Timeless Racer wherein he intertwines the fictitious story of a race series from an alternate universe. I'd highly recommend both books. You can find them through the link above.Most recently Daniel has been spending his time developing a new motorcycle for Lotus: The C-01. According to Lotus' website, this isn't just a concept. It's real, and Lotus IS building it. About 100 to be exact. There is currently a road registered prototype blasting around German streets. Beneath the gorgeous streamlined fairings lies a 4-stroke 200hp twin, and the bike clocks in at about 400lbs even. I could die happy atop one of these... and fast.
With a repertoire like Daniel's he's obviously quite immersed in the world of motorsport and has cladded the C-01's fairings with some of the most desirable racing liveries in history: The above Johnny Player Special with a twist of carbon, and below shown in Martini and classic Lotus racing livery. The only thing I'm not totally on board with are the OCC bagger style wheels. With such a strong nod to racing pedigree I would have liked to see something a bit more technical like a forged lightweight multi-spoke.
“The design process of the C-01 was a labour of love, there were many challenges, ensuring that the bike not only touches your visual senses with its timeless blend of classic appeal and modern execution, but that is safe and ergonomically sound was critical to me. We have worked hard to create a motorcycle with very distinctive features such as a clean main body, an extremely low side profile, a bold stance, a unique air intake, logical partline solutions and clean graphics.”