Lotus took the Carlton, increased the engine displacement from 3.0L to 3.6L and added twin Garret T25 turbochargers to force-feed the mill. The result was a GM saloon with over 380hp (283kW), capable of hitting 60mph (96km/h) in 5.2 seconds and going on to a top speed of 177mph (109km/h) - significantly faster than its German equivalents, the M5 and the Mercedes 500E, which were a second slower to 60mph.
A new Lotus Carlton, then, would be a significant departure from Lotus' current focus on lightweight sport-oriented models, and the British company is searching for a partner to recreate the iconic sports saloon. While Lotus hasn't mentioned any base cars in particular, Autocar points out that the Vauxhall Insignia is the modern equivalent of the Vauxhall Carlton and that its engine is conducive to tuning.
Vauxhall's already very impressive VXR8, based on the Aussie Holden Commodore, shares the same basic philosophy as the Carlton, though at an even greater amplitude. Perhaps the Lotus addition could find a niche in the Vauxhall lineup with a more moderate and mid-sized car like the Insignia.
Lotus is also considering expanding its activities in other directions as well. In addition to the Carlton, there are rumors of a new Esprit undergoing testing which could be powered by a 4.4L V8 from BMW. The company's recently unveiled Evora sports car is also expected to get a number of variants, including a more powerful 'S' version and a convertible variant to round out the lineup.