Volkswagen introduced the Corrado in 1988 and captured the fantasies of many young auto enthusiasts throughout the 1990s. Most people do not remember the Volkswagen Corrado. Somehow, Volkswagen’s hot hatch has shown up on many “best of” lists and is one of the most desirable collector cars from the era.
What Was the VW Corrado?
Volkswagen executives made the decision to retire the aging Scirocco, a sporty model that had developed a cult-like following. The German auto-manufacturing company built the Corrado using major components from Mark 2 and Mark 3 Volkswagen products. The body was a three-door coupe with flush-mount side windows. The Corrado had a fast and agile appearance. It had an aggressive stance backed up by some of the best driving characteristics of the decade.
Was the VW Corrado Rare?
In terms of production, the Corrado was not a great seller. Volkswagen sold a total of 18,648 Corrados in the U.S. during the production run. Acura built about as many NSX sports cars in the first generation. The base price of the Corrado was $17,900, with ABS, a sunroof, and a leather interior as expensive options.
Volkswagen Corrado G60
European drivers got the Corrado in 1988 and Canadians received the car a year later. Volkswagen introduced the Corrado in the United States in 1990. The Corrado G60 featured an eight-valve cylinder head and a centrifugal supercharger. The G60 boasted 158 horsepower in factory trim. In testing at the time, the Corrado G60 could accelerate from 0-60 in a little more than eight seconds.
The name G60 reflects the type of supercharger, the G-Lader, and the intake port size of 60 mm.
The G60 promised a lot to drivers but was largely viewed as a failure by owners and reviewers. Volkswagen engineers tuned the supercharger to provide boost above 2,000 rpm. The design tended to lead to sluggish acceleration, but plenty of power from 3,000 to 6,000 rpm. Volkswagen engineers used a manual transmission widely regarded as terrible by automotive critics at the time. The shifter is known for being particularly sloppy and prone to failure.
Volkswagen Corrado VR6
Volkswagen finally built the Corrado we all wanted for the model year 1992. That year, VW introduced the brand-new VR6 engine. The VR6 was a narrow-angle V6 with a single cylinder head. Overhead camshafts aid the 15-degree six-cylinder in running with the smoothness of an inline and the power of a Vee engine.
The VR6 produced a respectable 172 horsepower and provided the Corrado with 0-60 acceleration times in the mid-seven seconds. The new motor, while radical in design, was quite simple. The VR6 proved to be a robust and reliable motor for many Volkswagen fans. The VR6 design led to the eventual development of the narrow-angle VR5 and eventually, the W-series. Volkswagen W-series engines combine two VR8 engines to build the monstrous quad-turbo W16 used in the Bugatti Veyron, as well as the W8 and W12 found in the Volkwagen Phaeton.
Volkswagen uses the VR nomenclature to identify its “V-Engine, Reihenmotor”. The nomenclature refers to the German words for V and Inline engines.
What Makes the Volkswagen Corrado Desirable for Collectors?
Rarity is not the only quality that makes a particular car desirable. Plenty of cars were not produced in large numbers, but are not popular with collectors. The Volkswagen Corrado is popular with collectors because of its combination of style, performance, and attitude.
What the Corrado lacked in straight-out performance it made up for with nimble handling, dynamic steering, and excellent braking. The low-slung body provided an excellent center of gravity. An electronically-operated aerodynamic wing raised at speeds above 50 mph to improve rear downforce and high-speed handling. The steering was light and predictable, and without the steering wheel torque often common when driving front-wheel-drive cars.
When Volkswagen engineers installed the VR6 engine, the Corrado gained new steering and suspension, along with a wider track. The Corrado VR6 is often on lists such as “Ten Cars You Have To Drive Before You Die.”
Corrado G60 vs. VR6 – Which is Better?
Enthusiasts typically seek out good examples of the VR6 model to drive. The G60 model is arguably more collectible. The G60 Corrado was more numerous. In fact, the only years of production to exceed 4,000 U.S. sales were during the production of the G60. Somewhere around 12,000 G60 Corrado cars were sold in the U.S., but barely selling 7,000 over the next three years.
The G60 is more collectible today simply because of its oddity. While Volkswagen built lots of G60 cars, not many survive. There is no complete answer as to how many Corrado cars exist today. The U.S. VW Corrado World Registry lists 328 registries. More cars than that certainly exist.
G60 cars can offer some problems over the VR6 model. The G60 supercharger is known to fail unexpectedly and can be expensive to replace. However, both VR6 and G60 models share many parts with other VW models. Finding replacement parts is fairly easy for those who are interested in restoring these cars with a factory volkswagen corrado repair manual. Many drivers prefer the automatic transmission available in the later cars over the five-speed manual. The automatic gets better mileage and accelerates faster than the stick.
Repairs and Customization
The G60 Corrado shares many of its parts with the VW Golf II. Worldwide, Volkswagen sold 6.3 million VW Golf II vehicles. Finding replacement parts for most of the suspension, brakes, steering, and most engine parts should not be difficult. Even the G60 supercharger can be purchased online these days. A rebuilt supercharger runs about $700.
Corrado vehicles were built by hand in Germany. Very few cars have major rust issues. Most owners report rust damage is more common on vehicles that have been crashed. Body panels and patch panels can be difficult to find, so buyers looking at a Corrado with significant visible rust or accident damage should be warry.
Reviewers found the G60 to be underperforming in its day, and age has not improved the opinion. Aftermarket companies stepped in long ago to address some of the issues with Volkswagen’s supercharged inline four-cylinder. Everything from full-power kits that promise as much as 225 hp to twin-screw supercharger kits that will boost from idle to 6,000 rpm and can handle 300+ horsepower.
You can find aftermarket body panels made of fiberglass and carbon fiber to create a racy new statement with a Corrado. Body repairers can use some of these panels to hide or repair rust or body damage. Aftermarket companies make custom cold-air intakes and full-flow exhaust kits to improve power and fuel mileage.