Welcome to this week’s second violent outburst from The Carchive, where we look at historic and often hysterical automotive literature and scrutinise it under the cold light of time. You may have gotten wind of a VW coupé theme blowing in this week, and you’d be right. The Scirocco swept over us on Tuesday, and now it’s successor is about to kick up a storm. Batten down the hatches because I forecast the arrival of the Volkswagen Corrado. “Strikingly attractive, yet unmistakeably Volkswagen….” Wait, are they saying it looks nice, despite being a VW? Strange marketing angle. It does look nice, anyway. Actually, I think this is the best looking Volkswagen of all time. From the svelte, trim original Scirocco and then through the the more rounded but equally distinctive Mk2, by the time the Corrado arrived the original daintiness was quite a distant memory. In its place came a butch, muscular, quite stumpy, energetic looking form with a pronounced wedge to it, but the bluff front as found on the Scirocco’s, remained. There’s a strong family resemblance to the Golf at the very front. Mind you, if you squint a bit, with that headlamp / foglamp arrangement there’s a slight hint of GMC / Chevy truck about it. Or maybe I chose a bad day to give up sniffing glue. Whatever; the Corrado looks fantastic and anybody who disagrees with me is a liar. And it had an unassailably cool speed-controlled retractable rear spoiler. In the early ’90s when puberty wasn’t even on my horizon, this was about the most awesome thing ever. “…a compact yet remarkable spacious and comfortable sports car” Do we assume that the above was a spelling mistake and they meant to say “remarkably spacious” rather than “remarkable despite being compact?” This German proofreading is even worse than mien. It WAS remarkably spacious for a small sports coupé, but that was probably because it was so closely related to the Golf of the time. The styling was clever, though; allowing for a high roofline for reasonable headroom in the back; not something that comes easily in a coupé. Sitting up front you could easily forget that you weren’t sitting in a Golf; largely because the dashboard was pretty much cut and pasted from the hatchback to the coupé. But then, this was fine because the Golf interior worked pretty well anyway, and was made from marginally less dour materials than the Scirocco was. “The Corrado VR6 provides levels of performance few other cars in its class can match” The Corrado VR6, like its mechanically Siamese hatchback sister, was a bit of a performance phenomenon. The narrow angle V6 was rated at 190hp, and they were big, muscular horses with a fondness for pulling, and making a very pleasant noise while doing so. 62 mph would show after 6.9 seconds of foot-down action and 146mph was the figure at which the speedo needle stopped swinging. Definitely among the hottest of the small coupé’s, and somewhat eclipsing erstwhile “exotica” like the Ford Probe V6. Yes, I really did say that. There was a lot of upheaval required around under the bonnet to fit that engine in, running to different subframes, fenders, bonnet and bumpers, but all done very subtly, Of course, there had been high-po variants before the arrival of the VR6; the supercharged G60 had been on hand to deliver all the thrills that being blown can deliver, but at the time of this 1995 brochure being released there were just the two 2-litre cars (one with sixteen valves) and the VR6. Incidentally, the Scirocco hadn’t actually been fully put out to pasture when the Corrado came out, the two ran side by side for a few years for those who found it hard to decide. Just like had been the case with the Scirocco, the late UK Corrado range was headed up by the Storm limited edition, which was granted an entire separate supplement to the main brochure. “The limited edition Corrado Storm now adds a further dimension with an impressive list of luxury features as standard equipment; light alloy wheels, leather upholstery, heated front seats, Sony CD player, pearl paint, colour coded front grill and subtle “Storm” branding” All of these may have seemed relatively trivial features, but bear in mind this was VW so their individual values on the option list probably combined to megabucks. Indeed, the Storm was a special car and will always be sought after. Hell, they should ALL be sought after. The Mk1 and 2 Scirocco and the Corrado all have in common that they define themselves beyond the simple hatchback that lies beneath, whether it be with a simple, crisp, svelte elegance missing from the Golf, or whether it be with a “look at me, officer” electric rear spoiler. The new one is nice, but if you squint it’s even the same basic shape as a Golf, and that just won’t do. (Disclaimer: All images are of original manufacturer’s publicity material photographed by me. Copyright remains property of Volkswagen group. And that VR6 really was a great engine, in whatever car it went in . Even the Ford Galaxy)
The Carchive:- The 1995 VW Corrado
RoadworkUK is the online persona of Gianni Hirsch, a tall, awkward gentleman with a home office full of gently decomposing paper and a garage full of worthless scrap metal. He lives in the village of Moistly, which is a safe distance from London and is surrounded by enough water and scenery to be interesting. In another life, he has designed, sold, worked on and written about cars in exchange for small quantities of money.