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1989 Vauxhall-Lotus Carlton

Vauxhall-Lotus Carlton

Vauxhall-Lotus Carlton

One of the most distinct cars in the Lotus lineup is the Carlton/Omega. The name Omega name was given to the left-hand-drive cars while Carlton’s had their driver on the right. Internally at Lotus the car was known as the Type 104. 

The motivation behind the car came from Opel and Vauxhall who wanted to improve the image of their platform car. Lotus used the Vauxhall Carlton 3.0 GSi 24v as a base for the car, improving almost every component.

The engine used was a GM inline-6 although the block is the only original component. To cope with the 100 bhp per litre load Lotus replaced the pistons, crankshaft, induction system, cooling manifold and induction bodies. The Inline-6 was bored and stroked to a capacity of 3.6 litres. A redesigned cylinder-head and twin Garrett turbochargers were also added in the mix. The result was 377 bhp from an engine that originally had 204 bhp.

As expected, Lotus also reworked the suspension, brakes and aerodynamics.

This super-tuned saloon offered the the fastest four-door experience in 1989. It was leaps and bounds ahead of the competition which included the BMW M5.

The Lotus Carlton/Omega was built up to 1992 with around 900 examples being built, all in Imperial Green Metallic.

Related: Lotus Race Car List / Lotus Current Lineup / All Lotus Models / Lotus News


Specs & Performance

submitted by Richard Owen
type Series Production Car
built at England
price £/td> £48,000
engine GM Inline-6
position Front Longitudinal
aspiration Twin Garret T25 Turbochargers
valvetrain DOHC 4 Valves / Cyl
displacement 3615 cc / 220.6 in³
bore 95 mm / 3.74 in
stroke 85 mm / 3.35 in
compression 8.2:1
power 281.1 kw / 377.0 bhp @ 5200 rpm
specific output 104.29 bhp per litre
bhp/weight 228.07 bhp per tonne
torque 568.1 nm / 419.0 ft lbs @ 4200 rpm
redline 6200
body / frame Unit Steel
driven wheels RWD w/Limited Slip
front tires 235/45ZR-17
rear tires 265/40ZR-17
front brakes Vented Discs w/ABS, 4-Pot Calipers
rear brakes Vented Discs w/ABS, Twin-Pot Calipers
front wheels F 43.2 x 21.6 cm / 17.0 x 8.5 in
rear wheels R 43.2 x 24.1 cm / 17.0 x 9.5 in
steering Recirculating Ball w/Power Assist
f suspension MacPherson Struts w/Coil Springs, Anti-Roll Bar, Twin Tube Dampers
r suspension Multi-Link w/Semi-Trailing Arms, Twin Tube Dampers, Coil Springs
curb weight 1653 kg / 3644 lbs
wheelbase 2730 mm / 107.5 in
front track 1448 mm / 57.0 in
rear track 1473 mm / 58.0 in
length 4763 mm / 187.5 in
width 1930 mm / 76.0 in
height 1435 mm / 56.5 in
transmission ZR1 ZF 6-Speed Manual
gear ratios 2.68:1, 1.80:1, 1.29:1, 1.00:1, 0.75:1, 0.50:1
final drive 3.45:1
top speed ~281.6 kph / 175.0 mph
0 – 60 mph ~5.4 seconds
0 – 100 mph ~11.5 seconds
0 – 1/4 mile ~13.5 seconds
drag 0.31 Cd