Though the development of the Knightmare Frame once progresses rapidly, a period of
stagnation rises following the development of the RPI-13 Sutherland. Since this stagnation is the
result of the Sutherland's relative lack of innovation, the so-called sixth generation is dominated
by trial-type machines that failed to produce any concrete results. For some time, it looks as though
Knightmare Frames have hit their peak. However, shortly afterward, this slow period is broken by the
creation of the Z-01 Lancelot, the first seventh generation Knightmare. Though the operating system
and frame materials are slight improvements over earlier Knightmares, the biggest change in the
Lancelot is the fact that its entire frame is suffused with the highly conductive mineral Sakuradite.
This affords the Lancelot incredible energy efficiency, giving it the ability to power several theoretical
developments from the "lost" sixth generation, including the VARIS rifle, MSV particle shield,
and MVS vibrational swords.
Unlike other Knightmares, the Lancelot does not feature an ejectable cockpit that allows the pilot to
quickly escape. The Lancelot is also the second flight-capable Knightmare thanks to the use of the Float
system backpack, which unfortunately drains a large amount of energy.
Due to the immense cost of producing such a machine, the Lancelot is intended as a unique prototype
with no plans for mass production. However, the lack of available pilots means that the Lancelot remains
little more than a showpiece. This changes when Suzaku Kururugi, formerly a "grunt" in the Britannian military,
is discovered by Special Technical Unit member Lloyd Asplund. Suzaku's high simulator scores and the desperate
situation lead to his piloting the Lancelot to help deal with the Resistance forces during the liquidation of
the Shinjuku Ghetto. After single-handedly taking down the entire enemy force, Suzaku is assigned as the
Lancelot's permanent pilot, and becomes the biggest thorn in the side of the Order of the Black Knights,
who dub the machine the "White Armor." The Lancelot remains a superior unit until the later introduction of
units that can rival its power, such as the Type-02 Guren Mark 2 and the Type-3F Gekka. Following the
addition of a Float Unit, the Lancelot is redesignated as the Z-01/A Lancelot Air Cavalry.