Lotus Omega (1990): the superberlina of Opel that left the BMW M5 “with the ass in the air”

For years, the Opel Omega was the vehicle’s most successful Opel. This rival to the Ford Scorpio enjoyed a great popularity in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Competed in the DTM championships, touring car, and even dared to steal sales to some BMW thanks to its configuration of propulsion and their sport versions. But without a doubt, the most special – and perhaps least known – was the Lotus Omega. A lightning fast superberlina of 382 BHP of power and DNA transcontinental. The Opel, which took the BMW M5 E34 by surprise, seizing the title of the sedan’s fastest time.

Wolf with a wolf-skin

The Opel Omega Lotus was also sold as the Vauxhall Lotus Carlton in the United Kingdom, without reference to any Lotus.

The story began with the acquisition of Lotus by General Motors in 1986. The small English company was in financial troubles, and offered to the highest bidder at the price of balance. Mike Kimberly – then director general of the Lotus – already had a relationship with General Motors, which had made the occasional engineering job. Proposed to the higher echelons in Detroit the production of a superberlina. An Opel with the behavior and performance of a Lotus. General Motors Europe will fell in love with the idea.

opel-omega-lotus-4The world was going through a period of boom in the late 80’s, the turbos were all the rage, and GM Europe wanted to show that they could do shadow of the almighty BMW M5. The specialty of Lotus were the engines, and to the manufacture of the Opel’s most powerful production of the story, they cast the rest. Took as a basis the engine inline six-cylinder and 3.0-liter displacement that formed the top of line of the family of Omega, the Omega 3000. Developed a respectable 204 HP, a figure that will double after the transformation of the Lotus.

It would also be known as the Opel-Lotus Omega. Only 950 units were produced between 1990 and 1992. Are copies of collector today.

The manufacturer, English rose, the front sturdy block up to 3.6 liters, and installed a system of double turbocharging in series, with turbine Garrett high quality. A huge intercooler, reinforcements in the block, forged pistons Mahle… high-performance parts that contributed to an output end of 382 HP at 5,200 rpm with a maximum torque of 567 Nm at 3,800 rpm. The BMW M3 E34 from the time it achieved a maximum power of 315 HP from a six cylinder maximum power. He was afraid of the Lotus Omega.

opel-omega-lotus-9Spend all the power to the ground required transformations of importance in the train of shooting. For a start, you used the manual gearbox Tremec T-56 – six relationships – the Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1, Lotus contributed to the design of the cylinder head 32 valve engine V8. This box was connected to a limited slip rear source Holden. The braking equipment was signed by AP Racing, and on its front axle had ventilated discs 330 mm, hugged by four-piston calipers. Remember, the year was 1990.

The train back inherited the suspension self-leveling of the Opel Senator. The manual gearbox was the Corvette ZR-1.

His look was threatening. Grids of venting on the hood, a kit of spread to the body, 17-inch wheels with tires of high performance and 225 mm section, a huge spoiler on the tailgate, two exhaust pipes in the rear. Sold mainly in black color, the Lotus Omega was a wolf with wolf-skin: did the 0 to 100 km/h in just 4.9 seconds, and its top speed was 283 km/h. Officially, since a few units have reached 300 km/h in the first tests of the press.

opel-omega-lotus-8With a tuning of category – the Lotus was in charge of the transformation from beginning to end – the Lotus Omega astonished the press and public when the first units were delivered in 1990. Special praise received his suspension, with a train rear-levelling the Omega inherited from the Opel Senator, the flagship of Opel at the time. Your cabin also impressed: sports seats Recaro black leather, a sports steering wheel and a discreet speedometer calibrated up to 300 km/h. Subtle, but without a doubt.

Part of the press came to ask for the prohibition of the Lotus Omega, for being too fast. The manufacturer was deaf.

Part of the british press was asked in his time if the maximum speed of the Lotus Omega would not be excessive. Although the public at large and even the tv asked Vauxhall and Opel that autolimitasen its maximum speed, the manufacturers did a deaf ear to the request, to cheers from the specialized press and the petrolhead. It was rumored that the police feared not being able to give chase to the criminals who would lead this supercar of four-door, equipped with Opel Senator of 204 CV as a car chase.

opel-omega-lotus-10As if it were a prophecy, a gang stole a Vauxhall Lotus Carlton in 1994, and for weeks eluded the police in a series of robberies to stores grocery, thanks to the tremendous speed of the vehicle. The production of the Lotus Omega had finished two years before, in 1992. It was an expensive car, with a price of 48,000 pounds, that would be equivalent today to around 125,000 euros. Opel and Vauxhall were waiting to sell some 1,100 units, but they ended up selling only 950 units, as the 90’s began with an economic recession.

It was a car-building simple. Some units have developed more than 500 HP, with changes in the light.

630 units would be manufactured as a Opel with the steering wheel to the left. The 320 remaining units were sold as Vauxhall Carlton. years Ago, could be purchased for around 15,000 euros, but the speculation with classic cars of this calibre has set his price at a level already prohibitive. We will have to be content with a video, in which you will be able to appreciate the true potential of this superberlina. Hope this article has opened your eyes, and understand why the BMW M5 he was so afraid.