Lotus Carlton named most iconic performance Vauxhall ever
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There were calls for it to be banned, the Daily Mail called it a potential killer, and it was even discussed in parliament…
That’s how controversial the Lotus Carlton was when it first appeared back in 1990. Powered by a 3.6-litre turbocharged engine and capable of a top speed of 284kph, there were calls for the super saloon to be forbidden from British roads thanks to the danger it supposedly presented to ‘family motorists’.
In reality, of course, the Lotus Carlton was every inch a thoroughbred performance car and not the family saloon the newspapers pretended it was in their headlines.
Its significance was proven in a more celebratory manner after it was named the most iconic hot Vauxhall ever in a survey carried out by the organisers of the UK’s premier show for the brand’s performance icons.
The Lotus Carlton topped a poll carried out by The Performance Vauxhall Show ahead of this year’s event. Indeed, it was that popular that it took over a third of the total votes, with the Calibra coupe in second place and the Astra VXR completing the top three.
This year’s Performance Vauxhall Show will feature a special 25th birthday display to celebrate the silver anniversary of the Cavalier Turbo, one of the star attractions. With a 152kW C20LET turbocharged engine, four-wheel-drive and Chevrolet Corvette-derived six-speed gearbox, it’s now one of the rarest and most cherished of 1990s performance saloons.
At least 10 of the 49 known survivors examples will be on display at the show. from immaculately preserved standard variants to the wildly modified.