Photo of the day: Lotus Carlton, the sports sedan hero

By topgear, 06 August 2015

Cards on the table: we’re absolute suckers for a sports sedan. The combination of sportscar pace with a practical body – often a rather subdued, therefore incognito practical body – has us mildly weak at the knees and instantly daydreaming of film’s cooler car chases.

Therefore the new Audi S8 Plus, which shoehorns Ferrari Speciale power into something that resembles a motorway-trudging A4, is good news indeed around these quarters.

It’s just the latest in a line of such four-door treats, though. And a high watermark in sports saloon history sits above.

Fine, this one’s not subtle. Not even slightly. But just look at its stance; there’s a real sense a humble Vauxhall Carlton body can barely contain the 377hp twin-turbo force within.

It may not sound like much firepower now, but the Carlton’s 280+km/h top speed gives little to Audi’s super S8. And back in the early ‘90s, it packed enough potency to attract a Daily Mail hate campaign.

Can there be any greater endorsement than that?

STORY Stephen Dobie

Related Articles