Volkswagen Corrado

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Volkswagen Corrado
VW Corrado - standard.jpg
Manufacturer Volkswagen
Production 1988–1995
Assembly Osnabrück, Germany (Karmann)
Designer Herbert Schäfer
Body and chassis
Class Sport compact (S)
Body style 3-door coupé
Layout Front-engine, front-wheel-drive
Platform Volkswagen Group A2 platform
Related Volkswagen Golf Mk2
Volkswagen Jetta Mk2
SEAT Toledo Mk1
Engine 1.8 L I4 (petrol)
1.8 L supercharged I4 (petrol)
2.0 L I4 (petrol)
2.8 L VR6 (petrol)
2.9 L VR6 (petrol)
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
Wheelbase 1989–1992: 2,471 mm (97.3 in)
1993–1995: 2,469 mm (97.2 in)
Length 4,049 mm (159.4 in)
Width 1989–1992: 1,674 mm (65.9 in)
1993–1995: 1,689 mm (66.5 in)
Height 1,318 mm (51.9 in)
Curb weight 1,210–1,274 kg (2,668–2,809 lb)
Predecessor Volkswagen Scirocco Mk2
Successor Volkswagen Scirocco Mk3

The Volkswagen Corrado is a sport compact car developed by the German manufacturer Volkswagen, built at the Karmann factory in Osnabrück, Germany. It was designed by Herbert Schäfer[1] and was produced between 1 September 1988 and 31 July 1995.


Corrado rear

Originally conceived as a possible successor to the Porsche 944, the Corrado is a three-door hatchback/liftback with a 2+2 seating layout. Marketed by Volkswagen as, “The European sports car with the Volkswagen difference” the Corrado is a sport compact car that replaced the Scirocco in the Volkswagen lineup in some markets. The car's floorpan is based on the A2 platform (i.e. MK2 Golf/Jetta) and, with the exception of VR6 models, all versions use the subframes, suspension, steering and braking components from the A2 model range. The VR6 uses suspension components from the A3 model range, including the rear axle assembly and some parts of the A3's 'plus' type front axle assembly. The subsequent wider front wheel-track of the Corrado VR6 necessitated the fitting of new front wings with wider wheel arches and liners along with a new front bumper assembly. Together with a new raised-style bonnet to accommodate the VR6 engine, these body improvements were carried across the model range.

The Corrado is recognizable by its wedge profile, flush mounted windows and active rear spoiler that raises automatically when the car exceeds 50 mph (45mph in the North American market) and automatically retracts at speeds below 15 mph or it can be manually controlled from a switch in the cockpit.[2]

97,521 Corrados were manufactured in total.[3]


Launched in late 1988 (three years before the end of Scirocco production), all Corrados were front-wheel drive and featured petrol engines. The Corrado debuted with two engine choices: a 1.8-litre 16-valve inline-four with 136 hp (101 kW; 138 PS),[4] and a supercharged 1.8-litre eight-valve inline-four, marketed as the G60 and delivering 160 hp (120 kW; 160 PS). The Corrado G60 is named for the G-Lader with which it is equipped, a scroll supercharger whose interior resembles the letter "G".

There were also two special models of the G60. The G60 Jet was an economy version for the German market only, thought to be a run out model before the introduction of the VR6. This model was only available in four colours and featured a colour-coded interior. Sadly, VW cannot confirm production numbers for the Jet model.

Another variant is Volkswagen Motorsport (VWMS) Corrado 16VG60 Although the 16-valve engine combined with the original G-Lader was appreciated within the enthusiast community, the model never saw series production. It is generally believed that only two factory-built examples were manufactured, both in Nugget Yellow.

Volkswagen introduced two new engines for 1992. The first was a naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre 16-valve 136 bhp (101 kW; 138 PS) inline-four, basically a further development of the 1.8-litre engine; this engine was not made available to the North American market. The second was the 12-valve VR6 engine, which came in two variants: a 2.8-litre 179 bhp (133 kW; 181 PS) model for the US and Canadian markets and a 2.9-litre and 187 bhp (139 kW; 190 PS) version for the European market. In the United States the VR6 model was marketed as the Corrado SLC (sport luxury coupe). Upon revising the engine, VW updated the styling with a new front grill and foglamps.[5] With the introduction of the VR6 engine, the G60 engine disappeared from the North American market after 1992 and European market in 1993. The VR6 engine provided a compromise between both V-shaped and straight engines by placing the two cylinder banks at an angle of 15° with a single cylinder head. This design allowed engineers to fit a six-cylinder engine into roughly the same space that was previously occupied by four-cylinder engines, while closely approaching the smoothness of a straight-six design. 1994 was the last model year of the Corrado in the United States.

A 2.0-litre eight-valve model 115 hp (86 kW; 117 PS) was produced in Europe in 1995. A UK-only limited production model, the Corrado Storm, was also sold. Some discreet "Storm" badging, a colour-keyed front grille, an additional Storm badge on the gear gaiter surround (an upgrade from the standard Karmann badge), 15 inch BBS "Solitude" alloy wheels, and standard fitment of some previously optional items (such as the leather heated front seats) were all that differentiated this model from the base Corrado VR6. Only 500 were produced: 250 in Classic Green with a cream leather interior, and 250 in Mystic Blue, a colour unique to the Storm, with a black leather interior.

The Campaign model was made only in 1992. It was a VR6 Corrado available solely with Dusty Mauve Pearl Effect paint and a brick-red leather interior.

The Corrado was offered in Japan at Yanase dealerships that specialize in North American and European vehicles, offering the 1.8 L engine with either the automatic or manual transmission. The VR6 engine made the Corrado more expensive to Japanese buyers due to engine displacement not in compliance with Japanese Government dimension regulations, which imposed an additional yearly tax on Japanese buyers.


Auto Express magazine describe it as "Regarded as one of VW’s best-ever drivers’ cars".[2] The VR6 model was listed as one of the "25 Cars You Must Drive Before You Die" by the British magazine, Car and 'By far the most desirable version of the Corrado' by Auto Express.[2] In MSN Autos 'Cool Cars We Miss' feature they listed the Corrado among the top eight "Gone but not forgotten: a short list of cars once loved, still missed", describing it in the following manner: "The VW Corrado VR6 is coveted because of its seductive styling, road handling capabilities and its role as trailblazer, introducing the VR6 to the American market."[6]

In 1988, in the first incarnation of the BBC TV show Top Gear, racing car driver and presenter Tiff Needell reviewed the Corrado in G60 form, giving it a positive review and stating that "Handling-wise, the Corrado is classic front-wheel drive, and it's really very, very good indeed." In 2003, in series 3 of the relaunched Top Gear, presenter Richard Hammond identified the Corrado as a future classic, "a kind of classic waiting in the wings... I think it's really rather special... the result is fantastic."[7] He also stated that the Corrado "was too expensive, and nobody bought it".


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