Theres sometimes a familiar sound as I struggle to decant our little one out of her car seat and into the door of the nursery in the mornings. It’s a sound that always makes me halt the wrestling match, spin around and appreciate the sight and sound of some lucky toddlers dad parking up in their mint Corrado VR6. I normally smile and attempt one of those “I appreciate your choice of car and understand you to be an enthusiast too..” nods while backing away from my rather tired looking MX5. The wrestling match resumes, then screaming and/or shouting drowns out the burble of the narrow angle V6.
The Corrado was introduced in 1988 as a replacement for VWs fastest car at the time, the Scirocco. Initially, the UK cars were the not so hot 1.8L 16v versions that (only) produced 136bhp. That was only just enough to earn it VWs fastest car title, but mainly because it had a slightly higher top speed than the Scirocco due to its aerodynamics.
It wasn’t until the end of 1991 that we in the UK got hold of something a bit more useful, the supercharged 158bhp G60 (0-60 in 7.8 seconds). Then, just a year or so later came the VR6.
VW mated suspension from the front end of the MK2 Golf with the rear of the Passat but somehow managed to create a car that won almost universal acclaim for its brilliant chassis and super sharp handling, putting it on a par with the likes of the Porsche 968 and even the current 911.
The narrow angle V6 engine made it properly quick too. 0-60 came up in just 6.4 seconds, almost encroaching on supercar territory. The 2.9 Litre 190bhp VR6 engine was revolutionary. Unlike most traditional V6 configurations with two banks of three cylinders, each requiring a separate head, the VR6 employed a “Staggered Straight Six”, a design which allows the use of a single cylinder head meaning more compact dimensions so it can be installed in cars normally only a 4 cylinder engine would fit.
The VR6 Corrado was one of the first properly brilliant powerful front wheel drive cars. It paved the way for others like Hondas Integra Type R and later Fords Focus RS. The only problem was, nobody bought them. They were considered too expensive at the time so VW ceased production in 1996. Fortunately there’s a wealth of knowledgeable enthusiasts out there keeping the their VR6s on the road and near mint cars can now be obtained for less than £5000.
CorradoClub Tech Specs
Corrado buying guide Wiki
Parkers Guide Corrado VR6
Independent.co.uk Corrado VR6 review
VR6oc Corrado owners review
Wikipedia Corrado Entry
Detailing world (excellent picture thread of Corrado VR6 restoration)
PetrolBlog Corrado VR6 (excellent article about regretting selling a VR6)