Ford had dominated the mainstream performance saloon market in the UK for too long with their Cosworth Sierras. Now Vauxhall wanted a slice of that pie, and they took it in grand style with the Lotus Carlton in 1989. Back then Lotus were part of the General Motors empire, so they were called upon to rework the suspension, steering and brakes of the standard Carlton saloon while, from elsewhere in GM, a twin-turbocharged Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1 V8 engine with six-speed transmission was adopted. This transformed a fairly ordinary Vauxhall into a blistering five-person express, with supercar levels of speed (177mph) and handling. But it did cost £48,000...
Price at launch:
Independent, MacPherson strut, anti-roll bar, coil spring, telescopic dampers
Independent, semi-trailing arms, coil springs, telescopic dampers, anti-roll bar