Fleets of fancy

Fleets of Fancy: Lotus Carlton

Why should I want it?

In its day, which was between 1990 and 1992, the Lotus Carlton was the fastest four-door car in the world. Only 286 UK examples were ever built, with the one we sampled surviving on Vauxhall’s treasured heritage fleet.

The car caused a hefty controversy when launched, with the Daily Mail surprising everyone by leading a humourless campaign for the car to be banned due to its inappropriate top speed. Under the bonnet is a General Motors 3.6-litre straight six engine adorned with a pair of turbochargers, which was the engine of choice only after Lotus Engineering failed to squeeze in a V8 Corvette unit.


Why can’t I have it?

There’s only one for sale in the country that we could find at the moment. And it’s up for £120,000. Plus, spares might be a little tricky to come by.


Arguments to use on the fleet manager

The Carlton was a sensible upper management car, albeit that was a little while ago. And it doesn’t look like a car with near-180mph potential. Really.

More Fleety Alternative

Anything would be more fleety than Vauxhall’s peak of wonderful lunacy, but as near as the brand gets these days is the 210hp Insignia GSI. Its four-wheel drive diesel automatic, so not that close to the Lotus at all, but it’s Vauxhall’s most potent way of carrying four adults.Fleets of Fancy-Fleety Alternative-Lotus Carlton


Paul Barker








Bentley Continental GT
Performance:3.7sec/207mph (limited)