It was such a German duel – Opel Manta versus Volkswagen Scirocco. And later their successors – the Calibra and Corrado models. Some people might underestimate the Volkswagen Corrado, but that would be a mistake. The Corrado is a successful and great driving car, even if many petrolheads will not forgive him for the brand.

Volkswagen intended the Corrado to be the successor to the second-generation Scirocco coupé, but in the end the cars were so different that they were produced simultaneously for several years after 1989. But the Corrado was able to exploit the platform of the second generation Golf much better. In addition, production was carried out at the Karmann body shop in Osnabrück, which did better than the car company itself with higher quality production in a smaller volume. After all, this 1989 car feels like new.

Photo: Martin Palonder

The silhouette is much more respectful of the shapes of the first Scirocco.

The design does not refer much to its basis in the Golf, although the Corrado was also designed by Herbert Schäfer. Perhaps only the angular lights and grille can remind you of the Jetta sedan, but otherwise the aggressively shaped coupe looks very original. At the rear is a Porsche-developed spoiler that extends automatically at speeds above 100 km/h or when you press the appropriate button. It’s really nice when you look at the rear spoiler coming out in the rearview mirror. The particular car from the Veteránu na Truc offer has split seventeen-inch wheels with a design reminiscent of classic BBS rims. Personally, I would rather choose a smaller disc diameter, the Corrado is unnecessarily hard on these.

Sporting ambitions are also reflected in the interior

The interior is designed for a crew of four, even so the car is not at all comfortable in the back. But you buy a Corrado to drive it, and the front seat matches that. The front seats have a wonderful shape, are anchored beautifully low, and hold the driver and front passenger very well when cornering. The steering wheel is also adjustable and part of the dashboard is turned towards the driver, which Volkswagen did not do on any other model at the time.

Photo: Martin Palonder

A driver-oriented dashboard did not appear in Volkswagens of the time.

Excellent news for enthusiastic drivers is the very good rigidity of the front wheel body. The technology came mainly from the second generation Golf, but also some from the third. However, this mainly concerned the VR6 version and its front axle. The rear axle, on the other hand, is from the B3 generation Passat. Neither the Golf nor the Passat are cars that I would remember driving significantly even after a long time, so I wasn’t expecting miracles. But Corrado is different, that sticks in your memory. I still don’t understand how the ordinary technology of ordinary German cars put together correctly will create a coupe with precise steering and absolutely responsive behavior that you can call sporty.

You don’t expect such good driving characteristics from a Volkswagen

I really don’t understand. I drive through a sharp turn and try to figure out the surgical precision with which the front wheels react to the movement of the steering wheel and how sensitively the brakes can be dosed. I don’t understand how precisely the individual stages of the used five-quart fit into their positions, because I have never experienced anything like this in any other Volkswagen. Sure, I didn’t have high expectations. I was expecting another Golf (like when I once tested the second Scirocco) weighing a ton and a quarter, and instead I got a great playful sports coupe – balanced and neutral in corners and with fantastic responses. I later found out that Tiff Needell from the old Top Gear called the Corrado one of the best front wheels, and I totally agree with him. Although the hard lowered chassis certainly helps Corrado in the corners. And seventeen inch wheels.

But which one to buy?

The most expensive and most valuable version is the Corrado VR6 (six cylinders with a volume of 2.8 or 2.9 liters), for undemanding veterans, versions with four cylinders 1.8 or 2.0 are recommended. Then, of course, there is this G60 version with a supercharged G-fan 18, which is tuned for 160 hp (118 kW) at 5,600 rpm and 225 Nm at 4,000 rpm. But beware, it is said that the compressor needs an overhaul every hundred thousand kilometers . For the behavior of the car, a very nice sound, a maximum speed of 225 km/h and decent acceleration in 8.3 seconds, it might be worth it to me. A five-speed manual gearbox is connected to the engine.

Production ended in 1995 and the car did not receive any direct successor. The third generation of the Scirocco coupe, introduced many years later, can be considered this. If you’re looking for Corrado in the classifieds, arm yourself with patience. The car is wildly popular with tuners, so most of the surviving cars out of a total of 97,521 built will be modified, heavily lowered and on modern big wheels. After all, these changes did not escape this piece either, otherwise it is fortunately unmodified. But the rich equipment that the Corrado could have as the brand’s flagship is pleasing.

You can try to restore the car to its original condition, but some parts are harder to find and not the cheapest. This also applies to the car itself. The prices of the cheapest 1800s start at around one hundred thousand crowns in Germany. This particular Corrado G60 was offered last year for 210,000 crowns.