If you’re into the small, sporty coupe, the other alternative to the 924s I’ve written up if don’t have the big bucks to buy a super clean 944 is Volkswagen’s answer – the Corrado. While that may generate a chuckle from some, if you breakdown the numbers, the Corrado was pretty close to the recipe of the outgoing 924S. Adding the G-Lader supercharger to the 1.8 liter inline-4 gave the Volkswagen similar punch; 158 horsepower and 165 lb.ft of torque with about 2,700 lbs to motivate. It was a 2+2 hatch as well, with more practical seating in the rear and plenty of storage space. The 195-50-15 tires gave plenty of bite, making the Corrado the equal of the 924S through corners, too. And early on it was even a bit cheaper than the 924S had been because, you know, it wasn’t a Porsche. It’d cost about $20,000 out the door; expensive compared to the GTI, but then this car was really intended to compete in a more upscale market.
Like the 924S, there are foibles. There’s a more potent version that’s quite a bit more popular in the later VR6, though it should be noted that just like the 944, by the time the SLC VR6 models bowed out of the marketplace they were 50% more expensive than the 1990 launch version. It can also eat up a lot of money in repairs, especially if the supercharger that made the package get up and go has got up and went. Also like the 924S, asking prices are usually out of line with market value, and there are quite a bit more abused ones out there than clean examples. I last looked at a clean, but at least partially (and poorly) resprayed example in November:
1990 Volkswagen Corrado G60
The asking price was originally $5,200, but it eventually sold for just under $5,000.…
It’s hard to think that the Volkswagen GTI has been with us for forty years. In that time, the we’ve seen everything from 2.0 liter, 115 horsepower 8-valve Mk3s to an insane GTI concept car with a mid-mounted W12 engine. In between, there’s been a number of variations on the hot hatch theme, including this car, the Mk2 Golf GTI G60. For those of you non-VW aficionados, the G60 pertains to what’s under the hood, in this case, the 1.8 liter supercharged inline-4 with 160 horsepower that saw duty in the Corrado when it debuted and later in the rare Golf G60 Limited. This GTI G60 for sale in Switzerland has had a complete overhaul and looks sharp sitting on aftermarket, deeper offset Ronal alloys.
For many years, my trips to Lime Rock Park in the Coupe GT for Patroon Chapter BMWCCA driver’s events were accompanied by a similar soul; there was a ’84 Volkswagen Jetta GLi that seemed to always be joining me. On paper, the two were probably quite similar in terms of all-out speed; the Jetta had less power, but was also quite a bit lighter than the Coupe. But in fast corners, the better balance of the GT and equal-length driveshafts meant it was a bit easier to carry speed and get power down. Over the years, we both modified our cars in turn. I went to a Ground Control coilover suspension and steadily upgraded the engine and he followed suit. Squint a bit, and in the first generation Jetta you can see the similarities to the Audi GT. Both were Giugiaro designs as was the original Golf/Rabbit; but the Jetta went slightly upscale compared to the Golf. Ironically, in recent years that role has reversed – top of the range Golfs are even more expensive than mid-range Passats. But in the early 1980s, Volkswagen made the U.S. market A1 Jetta have slightly better interiors and, aside from the obvious trunk, a different grill with 4 rectangular sealed-beam headlights led the way – very similar to the U.S. spec Audi GT. They were available in 2 or 4-door configuration with a range of motors which matched the Rabbit; trim levels were base “L”, upscale “GL” and performance oriented “GLi”. Today, Jettas are far less common to come across than the more popular Rabbit variants, especially when they’re in the condition of this Inari Silver example:
Last month, Carter featured an impossibly clean Corrado SLC with very low mileage. A lot of these sport coupes were snapped up by young enthusiasts a few years on and sadly were modified beyond recognition. I remember frequenting Volkswagen shows during my college years and seeing many of these cars chopped up, driven hard and laid up wet. Now two decades since the last Corrados were sold new in the US, a good one is hard to come by. This silver, one-owner Corrado G60 for sale in Connecticut is fairly original with little modification but has high mileage. The G60 isn’t the more desirable powerplant in the model lineup, but given the condition, this car is sure to catch its fair share of attention.
Edit: One of our Facebook readers – Steve – correctly noted that this is Capri Green and was an 8V Golf to start out. In some ways, that makes it better that a real 2.0 GTi wasn’t sacrificed, though my feelings about most of the modifications stay the same. Thanks Steve, and sorry for the mistake!
I’m fairly certain that with the right backing and skillful marketing I could pitch a show to one of those
crappy cable networks. My premise? Take a car that has been modified and return it to OEM or OEM+ standards. Seriously, when talking about rare cars, aren’t there buyers for these rides? Don’t there seem to be lots of people endlessly browsing the internet looking for that hidden, unmodified and well-cared for gem that rarely surfaces? Heck, it’s what we’ve built a fair amount of our writing around. And even though there are plenty of people pining for original BMWs, Mercedes-Benz and Porsche models, there’s a special lot that love original Volkswagens. One of the biggest reasons they long for these “unicorn” models is that so few were properly cared for, and many of those that were have been modded within an inch of their life. Take the Mk.II GTi; a solid performing replacement for the “original” hot hatch. It’s near legendary status is well cemented in the halls of automotive history, and it’s even one of the few models that carries brand awareness outside of motoring circles. Seriously, even people who know almost nothing about cars know what a GTi is. Within the Mk.II crowd, there are several limited models that the U.S. didn’t receive, so our top of the heap has to be the 1990-1992 16V edition. With a close-ratio gearbox, revised and better integrated smooth big bumpers, the best set of BBS wheels and Recaro seats ever fitted to a Volkswagen and one stunner of a revy 2 liter inline-4, it was an awesome package.…
The strange thing about “unicorns” in the Volkswagen world is that they’re not always the most rare, the fastest, the rarest, or the prettiest model. Unicorns are the models that everyone wishes for though, the cars that are so hard to find that people are willing to pay a serious premium when they pop up. What constitutes “hard to find” in the Volkswagen world is an unmolested example and that seems to be especially true in the higher performance models; the GLi, the GTi and above all the Corrado:
The Volkswagen Golf was never what you would call exotic, but sometimes the most pedestrian of cars makes for an interesting base for something a bit more special. Race homologation has brought us many great cars over the years, like the Porsche 959, Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16 and Audi Sport Quattro. At double the price of a standard 8V GTI, the Rallye Golf was built so that Volkswagen could compete in the World Rally Championship. With Syncro four-wheel drive and a supercharged 1.8 liter, this car started a trend of ultimate Golfs and GTIs that we see up to the present day. This example for sale in England has been lightly used and a perfect piece for someone who is into the box flare style of the 1980s and early 1990s.
We’ve gone on at length about the wonderful German cars we haven’t gotten to experience here in the U.S., and the 4WD Theme Week offers us a chance to expose even more gems that were not imported. For various reasons including low overall sales number and a fear of cannibalizing Audi’s already small all-wheel drive market share in the early 1990s, Volkswagen chose not to import many of their Syncro cars. True, we did get the Audi 80/4000 based Quantum, but the third generation Passat introduced the first non-Audi based floorpan for the larger Volkswagen. What it was based on instead was the Golf, meaning that it could use a lightly modified version of the Golf’s Syncro system and engine choices. Hence, while the American market did get the great 2.0 16V in the front-wheel drive Passat, Europe and Canada got the more potent, tunable and all-wheel drive supercharged Passat G60 Syncro. They were expensive and rare cars when new, but can be found from time to time. Today there is a decent looking one on Ebay.de:
Model: Passat GT Syncro Variant
Engine: 1.8 liter supercharged inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 220,000 km (136,702 mi)
Price: No Reserve Auction
Passat GT G60 Syncro ( 35i )
Top notch runner until 02.01.2008 due to Audi quattro purchase . 240km/hr speedometer was not an issue here . G-Lader updated. Larger Pulley installed , chip tuning . Thereafter, about 8,000 km covered.
Boost gauge installed cleanly. Oil cooler installed . Trailer hitch. Original aluminum wheels with 205 ‘s and of course, all-wheel – drive !
Total mileage 220,000 km .
After taking it off the road I began rewiring for sound system – cables are already installed but sill panels etc.
The GTI has always been the performance oriented Golf, but there’s been a few über Golfs that have graced the lineup throughout the years. Many VW fanatics are familiar with the MkII Rallye Golf. This was an all-wheel drive homologation special with box fenders and was powered by the 1.8 liter, supercharged G60 four cylinder engine. Built in Belgium, these special Golfs cost almost twice as much as a base GTI. Since then, we’ve seen a few more all-wheel drive Golfs, including the current Golf R. While the Rallye Golf was being sold, there was a cheaper, more tame option: the Golf G60.
The Golf G60 was another pumped up Golf that wasn’t available to US customers and featured the G60 engine in front-drive form. These lesser known Golfs are not too common, as they were launched in 1990 and were marketed for only about a year and a half. This particular G60 is on offer not too far from London and will be legal for importation to the US in a little over two years.
Model: Golf G60
Engine: 1.8 liter supercharged inline-4
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 135,403 km (84,135 mi)
Price: £10,995 (~ $16,769 USD)
The VW Golf Mk2 succeeded the Mk1 from 1983 and remained in production until late 1992. Volkswagen reportedly spent £500 million developing the Mk2. The car slightly grew in wheelbase, exterior and interior dimensions over its predecessor but still retained the overall look of the MK1 albeit slightly more rounder so to improve aerodynamics and reduce drag. During the life of the Mk2 there were a variety of updates and revisions to styling and trim, the most notable was the introduction of the ‘big bumpers’ introduced in the European market during the August 1989 facelift.
When discussing the 1987 GTI we featured on Tuesday, Brian made an excellent point. Ever since the Mk2 version, Volkswagen has been trying to recapture the magic of the original GTI. Somehow, every generation seems to come up a bit short in one way or the other. A big reason for this is the size. When you put a Mk1 and MkVI GTI side by side, the difference is enormous. So naturally, with an increase in mass, you would lose a bit of the nimbleness in the process.
For years, though, Europe has had an answer to the larger, successive generations of Golf GTIs with their Polo supermini. A B-segment sized hatchback, Volkswagen has offered a hot version of this car throughout the years, beginning with this particular model, the Polo G40. Never shy to test out new technologies on mainstream vehicles (see recent Passat W8), the Polo G40 had a supercharged, 1.3 liter four cylinder engine, a 40mm version of the 60mm supercharged used in the Corrado G60. This provided this hot hatch with 115 horsepower and capable of the dash to 60 mph in just over eight seconds, modest by today’s standards, but still perfectly respectable.
With the first G40 being introduced in 1987, we might see a few of these trickle stateside eventually. This 1992 example has very low mileage and looks sharp in white with the black trim accents. A nice compliment to the white GTI Brian featured on Tuesday.
Model: Polo G40
Engine: 1.3 liter supercharged inline four
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Mileage: 43,780 mi
Price: £6,495 (~ $9,830 USD)
The Polo G40 Coupe first made an appearance at the 1985 Frankfurt Motor Show, named the Polo GT G40 and based on the established Mk2 Polo. This concept was subsequently built by Volkswagen in 1985 with three prototype cars that set a number of world endurance speed records, such as the 1.3 litre class records for speed over 24 hours, and speed over a distance of 3,107 miles.