Lot 367

Dare to Dream Collection

2014 Lotus C-01 "John Player Special"


$100,000 - $150,000 USD  | Offered Without Reserve

Canada | Toronto, Ontario



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Bill of Sale Only
To be offered on Saturday, 1 June 2024
  • The sole motorcycle model to wear the legendary Lotus name; one of just 100 examples produced, of which very few are in North America
  • Futuristic styling originally by Daniel Simon, designer of the TRON: Legacy “light cycle;” finished in the classic John Player Special livery
  • Acquired new by the Dare to Dream Collection and offered in as-new condition with only delivery mileage
Please note, this lot is located in Canada and import duty will be applicable to all countries outside of Canada, including the United States. RM Sotheby’s will be available to assist buyers with importation to the United States.
Addendum: Please note, should the buyer wish to bring this motorcycle into the United States, the transfer of ownership will need to be approved by NHTSA prior to changing hands and that this motorcycle cannot be transferred to a dealership entity. The seller will work with the buyer to ensure all limitations are understood and that compliance with the “show or display” requirements are met. While in the US buyers should be aware that the motorcycle is limited to use of no more than 2,500 miles per year and must be made available for inspection by NHTSA until the motorcycle is not less than 25 years old.

Collin Chapman’s immortal engineering dictum—usually paraphrased as “simplify, then add lightness”—is as applicable to vehicles with two wheels as it is to those with four. Even so, Lotus had never built a motorcycle, and seemingly had no intention of doing so…until the surprise 2014 announcement of the Lotus C-01.

Even after images of the C-01 began to circulate, fans did not know quite what to think: Surely this hyper-futuristic motorcycle, with a sleek, carbon fiber fairing floating in the middle of an elongated wheelbase, was only a buzz-generating concept that would never see production. But Lotus stunned enthusiasts again by committing to a 100-unit production run and then, in yet another surprise, actually followed through with building them!

In truth, Group Lotus did not build the C-01: It licensed its name to Lotus Motorcycles, which in turn orchestrated a collaboration of experts for production. German racecar constructor Kodewa (which worked on the Lotus T128 Le Mans Prototype) headed the project, with input from motorcycle engineering company Kalex. Its sci-fi looks were no accident, as the initial styling was done by Daniel Simon—a designer whose credits included the “light cycles” from the 2010 film TRON: Legacy. Simon’s work made it to the final product with few major alterations, and buyers could opt to have its carbon fiber panels finished in a range of liveries that paid tribute to the great racing cars of the past.

Power—as much as 200 horses—came from a V-twin engine that had proven itself in the KTM RC8R, sent through the rear wheel via a six-speed sequential gearbox. A dry weight of under 400 pounds, and a lack of rider aids such as ABS and traction control, contributed a pure riding experience in keeping with Lotus tradition.

Motor Cycle New’s Andy Downes delivered a favorable ride review in August 2016: “With a wheelbase that could rival that of an oil tanker, this may look like a bike that shouldn’t work. But despite its unusual design and engineering layout, it gallops along roads at what seems like an unseemly pace. Add in the top-notch suspension and superb Brembo brakes up front, and the C-01 is also surprisingly easy to adapt to.”

Very few C-01s have reached North America, including this example. Ordered new by the Dare to Dream Collection, it cost nearly $140,000. Its John Player Special-inspired livery, with its timeless black and gold color scheme, works well with the C-01’s carbon fiber componentry—making for a particularly stunning representative of a rare machine. Offered in as-new condition, it has accrued only delivery milage.

Since the completion of C-01 production, Lotus Motorcycles have announced no future products. The C-01’s status as a shocking one-off—a project that defied the odds, and expectations, to be born into reality—only enhances its mystique. Whether acquired as a futuristic yet fully rideable steed, or as a stunning piece of functional mechanical sculpture, this “John Player Special” Lotus C-01 will fascinate for years to come.