I don’t know the proper name for those mid-length leather coats with fur collars and big pockets that villains wear in East London tough-guy movies, but, whatever it is, the Lotus Carlton is wearing the car equivalent. Huge, hunched and probably very angry, it’s a car you move towards slowly and try not to look in the eye. I loved them when they appeared in 1990, and I still do. Though you’d be lucky to see one at all: only 950 were made in a production run lasting into 1992, and it was lucky to have been built - the very idea of a ‘family’ car costing the equivalent of £88k in today’s money is hard to take.
Words: Richard Hammond
Photos: Justin Leighton
This article was originally published in the December 2011 issue of TopGear magazine