From reading press articles at the time, you would be forgiven for thinking that the Lotus Carlton was about to bring on the apocalypse! A 5-seater 'family' car that could do 176mph was considered outrageous. Well, in performance terms it was outrageous. 377bhp and a phenomenal 419lb/ft of torque embarrassed many a so-called supercar.
The Carlton was based on Vauxhall's top of the range 3000Gsi but that's where the similarity ends. Lotus added twin-turbochargers, a Corvette ZR1 6-speed gearbox (to handle that monstrous torque) and uprated the brakes and suspension. The Carlton was short lived but proved a tremendous demonstration of Lotus's engineering prowess.