LotusIn 1986, Vauxhall purchased Lotus and everyone wondered what this family saloon maker was planning for this high-performance auto manufacturer. They took a saloon car and put a 3.6 L Lotus engine inside it. This gave birth to the Vauxhall Lotus Carlton which was awarded the title of the quickest saloon car back in 1990 with a top speed of 176 mph.

Earlier Carlton’s were modest when compared with what was yet to come. The first Carlton (Omega, as it was known eventually) was known in the United States and Europe as a British version of the Rekord. The Mark 1 was a regular 1.8-2.0 L family car targeted at the middle class. A comfortable and spacious rear-wheel drive with reasonable performance to say the least. It was even available in estate form.

Despite regular updates and the addition of a diesel engine, sales weren’t spectacular. Then came the Mark 2 in 1986. This was a completely different car. It even managed to pick up the title of European Car of the Year.

It a V6 with a 2.6-3.0 L engine and 12 valves which were later replaced with 24 valves in the Carlton GSi. The car went into production in 1990 and even though there weren’t significant changes in the body, the part under the hood was never going to be the same.

The Lotus Carlton is most probably going to be the fastest saloon car in history which no one knew of. The fact this vehicle was so fast caused a lot of controversies which corporate advertising didn’t bother to use. They just said the car could go from 0-60 mph in 5.2 seconds. If they mentioned what was beneath the hood, this car might have had a very different story, but what is done cannot be undone.