Car Show Outtake: 1992 Lotus Omega – An Opel Executive Sedan Gone Berserk

Every time I visit a Classic Park event I also stroll around in their showroom. Early September I faced an automotive legend: a Lotus Omega, among the right-hand drive crowd known as the Lotus Carlton. In its days, the early nineties, it degraded other power sedans to Little Rascals.

The starting point for this mean machine was the Opel Omega A 3000 24v. The rear wheel drive Opel Omega A -aka Vauxhall Carlton Mk2- was introduced in 1986, when it replaced the Opel Rekord E.

In those days almost all automakers offered a model in this segment of executive cars, also known as the E-segment. Some examples of Opel Omega-competitors were the Ford Scorpio, Renault 25 and Alfa Romeo 164.

The Omega 3000 24v was powered by Opel’s C30SE inline-six 3.0 liter DOHC 24v engine, good for 204 DIN-hp.

Lotus enlarged the engine to a displacement of 3.6 liter and added two Garrett T25 turbochargers and a Behr intercooler. And those were only the main modifications. The end result was a brute of an engine with a maximum power output of 382 DIN-hp @ 5,200 rpm and a maximum torque output of 568 Nm (419 ft lb) @ 4,200 rpm.

Naturally the brakes and suspension were also seriously upgraded to keep things in control.

The only color available was Imperial Green. A shade of green close to black.

The limited-slip differential was sourced from the V8 Holden Commodore.

A typical late eighties~early nineties executive sedan interior. So far business as usual.

The manual six speed ZF S6-40 transmission was also used in the contemporary Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1.

The 300 km/h speedometer wasn’t a blatant exaggeration, given the car’s top speed of around 283 km/h (177 mph), which raised many eyebrows; should a creature like this really be street legal? It doesn’t come as a surprise that joy-riders and gangsters really loved (adored?) this ultimate power sedan!

This came close -never mind the Concorde- but alas, no cigar. The BMW E34-based Alpina B10 BiTurbo from the early nineties had a slightly higher top speed, yet the Lotus out-accelerated the Alpina in all possible ways.

A downright supercar, that’s what it was. The standard 0-100 km/h (62 mph) sprint was done in 5.4 seconds.

That’s nice, but the Lotus Omega’s real strength was getting way beyond 100 km/h in no time, quite literally. From 0-200 km/h (124 mph) the Lotus Omega outran a Ferrari Testarossa, to give you an impression.

Lotus Hocus Pocus – House of Speed. And owned by GM back then.

Lotus built 950 of these Omegas/Carltons, so the chance of ever facing one again isn’t that big.