3 Vauxhall Saloons To Set The Pulse Racing
Vauxhall Lotus Carlton (1989)
Vauxhall is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Lotus Carlton Saloon - a high performance executive racer that is so fast there were calls for it to be banned.
It is based on the Carlton Mk 2 which is a tame saloon from the 80s and 90s. The Lotus version is far more ferocious and was, at launch, the fastest 4-door saloon in the world.
It has a 3.6-litre, 382PS, turbocharged straight-6 engine that propels it to 60mph in 4.9 seconds. Top speed is 176mph which is more than a lot of period sports cars. Some people claimed that such extreme performance in a car of this class was socially irresponsible.
Despite the power and speed, it retains the features motorists typically expect from a luxury saloon of the period. Highlights include its: leather heated reclining seats, polished wooden dashboard trim, air-conditioning, electric sunroof, power windows and CD player.
Vauxhall Insignia VXR Saloon (2009)
The Insignia VXR Saloon is the manufacturer’s closest modern equivalent to the Lotus Carlton. Like its forefather, it is the fast, top-end, version of a relatively ordinary vehicle.
It has a 2.8-litre V6 turbo engine that produces 325PS. In manual form, 0-62mph takes 5.6 seconds and top speed is 155mph. The automatic gearbox slightly impends performance.
Power is transferred to the road via permanent 4-wheel-drive and it has a limited-slip differential. Brembo brakes with ventilated discs and 4-piston callipers rein-in the power.
Like the Lotus Carlton, the Insignia VXR has the sophistication motorists expect from a vehicle of this class. It is not – unlike some performance cars – a stripped out plaything.
Standard toys includes: climate control, cruise control, rain sensing windscreen wipers, tyre pressure monitoring system, electronic stability programme and traction control.
Vauxhall VXR8 GTS Saloon (2014)
The VXR8 GTS is a hard-core, rough and ready, muscle car that demands attention. Its 6.2-litre V8 produces 585PS and propels it to 60mph in 4.2 seconds. Top speed is 155mph.
The aggressive styling emphasises its credentials. It has a twin nostril grille, 4 exhaust pipe ends, spoiler, bulging bonnet, wide stance and huge alloys. It screams “look at me”.
Standard equipment includes Magnetic Ride Control that tweaks the response of the suspension. Modes are Touring, Performance and Track. Touring best suits the open road as produces the smoothest ride. Performance – Vauxhall says - “offers a sharper response with reduced" body roll” and Track Mode makes it ride “like a race tuned supercar”.