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Lotus Carlton
Opel Lotus Omega rear DSC00826.jpg
Manufacturer Adam Opel AG
Production 1990–1992
Predecessor Lotus Cortina
Class Sports car
Body style(s) 4-door saloon
Layout FR layout
Platform V-body
Engine(s) 3.6 L C36GET I6
Transmission(s) 6-speed ZF manual
Related Vauxhall Carlton

The Lotus Carlton (in mainland Europe, the Lotus Omega) was a Vauxhall Carlton saloon upgraded by Lotus Cars to be a 177 mph (285 km/h) sports car. Like all Lotus vehicles, it was given a type designation — Type 104 in this case. The external differences were minimal to the five seater with only the rear spoiler, air intakes on the bonnet, Lotus badges on the front wings and bootlid, and considerably wider wheel arches telling it apart from any other Carlton. The car was only sold in one colour, a shade of British racing green called Imperial Green, a very dark green that in anything but direct light appears black.

Lotus' modifications started with an upgraded engine, which was stroked from the standard Vauxhall 2969 cc 24v straight six unit, used in the GSi, to a capacity of 3615 cc. Lotus then added twin Garrett T25 turbochargers to give 377 hp (281 kW). The engine was not strong enough and therefore a new under block was cast. Then A six-speed manual ZF transmission from a Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 was used to transfer this power to the rear wheels. The car was capable of 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds and had 12.5 in (330 mm) AP ventilated disc brakes with racing calipers all round. The car was reported to be capable of nearly 190 mph (310 km/h) but was governed by a limiter on 6th gear reducing the top speed slightly. The car could hit nearly 60 mph (97 km/h) in first gear and achieve 0-100 mph and back to a complete stop in less than 15 seconds. The Lotus Carlton held the title of the fastest four door saloon car for some years. The cars are now starting to become modern classics as low mileage, well looked after examples become rare.

Production of the Lotus Carlton began in 1990, four years after the original Carlton went on sale. Opel had hoped to build 1,100 cars in total, but owing to the recession of the early 1990s, the £48,000 cars were not selling as well as anticipated and production at Lotus was halted in December 1992. Only 950 cars were completed: 320 Carltons and 630 Omegas, 150 short of the original target.

The Lotus Carlton and Omega were never federalized for sale in the USA, but as of 2007 the Lotus Omega is allowed to be imported into the USA under the DOT's "Show and Display" exemption.

Performance and comparisons


  • Top speed - +175 mph (282 km/h)
  • Peak power - 377 hp (281 kW) @ 5200 rpm
  • Acceleration - 0-60 mph (97 km/h) : 5.2 sec., 0-100 mph (160 km/h) : 11.5 sec.
  • Peak torque - 419 lb·ft (568 N·m) @ 4200 rpm
  • Engine displacement - 3615 cc
  • Engine type - Twin turbocharged straight six-cylinder
  • Configuration - Front-engined, rear-wheel drive
  • Transmission - Six-speed ZF manual
  • Weight - 3,666 lb (1,663 kg)
  • Production - 950 units
  • Price - £48,000

Performance comparisons

  • 1989-1994 Alpina B10 BiTurbo - 360 hp 0-60 mph - 5.6 s. Top speed: 182 mph (291 km/h)
  • 1989-1995 BMW M5 E34 - 315/340 hp 0-60 mph - 6.3 / 5.9 s. Top speed (electronically limited): 155 mph (250 km/h)
  • 1991-1995 Mercedes-Benz 500 E W124 - 326 hp 0-60 mph - 6.2 sec. Top speed (electronically limited): 155 mph (250 km/h)


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