This year is a special one for Vauxhall as it celebrates 25 years of one of its most famous models, the high performance saloon, Lotus Carlton.

25 Years of VauxhallAt the time when it was released, the Lotus Carlton was the fastest four-door saloon in the world. It came 65 years after Vauxhall released the first 100 mph road-car in the UK.

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The Lotus Carlton had 377 bhp delivered from its straight-six, twin-turbocharged engine. It could go from 0 to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds and reach a top speed of 176 mph. Lotus developed and fine-tuned its chassis, making it a dynamic vehicle, giving it great handling capabilities and ensuring its top speed was in line with the supercars of the time.

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Speaking about the days of the Lotus Carlton, head of Carline Brand at Vauxhall, and a man who was a key member of the Lotus Carlton launch team in its early days, Stuart Harris said: “Everyone at the time said it was completely inappropriate for a manufacturer like Vauxhall to launch a 176mph car.”

“It was better than the competition in every conceivable way and will go down as one of the most iconic Vauxhalls of all time. It was landmark product for Vauxhall, which to this day is still much loved. It introduced the brand to people who would not have considered driving a Vauxhall before.”

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The Lotus Carlton was produced between 1989 and 1994 as a joint venture between Lotus and Vauxhall. In total, 440 Lotus Carltons were produced, each costing £48,000.

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Following this car, there were plans of creating a successor but this idea did not move forward. Instead, the three litre quad-cam engined Omega was made between 1993 and 1997, which was the last large performance saloon made by Vauxhall during that decade.

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However, there have been more large performance cars from Vauxhall since, such as the VXR range. This includes the 420PS VXR8 and the supercharged limited edition Bathurst S. Most recently, the VXR8 GTS has been released and can produce 576 bhp.

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