The Type 104 Lotus Carlton/Omega was launched at the Geneva motor show in 1989, and went on sale in 1990. Lotus was owned by General Motors in 1989 and were called upon to make GM's offering in Europe more 'exciting'. So based on the questions raised in the House of Parliament about 'family saloons' being able to reach 180mph, I think history will record that Lotus achieved this.

Starting point for the development was the 4 door 5 seater Opel Omega 3000 24v. It's 3l engine had it's bore and stroke increased resulting in a 3.6l unit. A change of head and the inclusion of twin intercooled turbo chargers raised the engine's output to 377bhp and 419 lb.ft torque. To cope with this tremendous amount of torque a 6 speed ZF gearbox was utilised. Lotus' involvement didn't end with the engine. They were also responsible for the vehicle's handling and modified the suspension and brakes. The production run was scheduled at 1100 units, but only 950 Lotus Carltons/Omegas were built.

Information Sources
A good on line source for Lotus Carlton information is James Waddington's Lotus Carlton site (see link below).

Other good sources of information are:

'The Lotus Book' book by William Taylor (ISBN 1-902351-00-2)
'Lotus the Legend' book by David Hodges (ISBN 0-75252-074-1)
Please see below for the Lotus Carlton's statistics. Please note that the source of the performance data is sometimes official Lotus Cars data and sometimes independent magazine review data.


Production Years Max. Power bhp Max. Torque lb.ft Top Speed mph 0-60mph sec Comment
Carlton/Omega 1990-92 377@5200rpm 419@4200rpm 176 5.1s The millennium falcon of saloon cars.