Saturday, May 9, 2015

4k: Baby We Were Born To Corrado: 1992 Volkswagen Corrado SLC

Corrado in Spanish means "to run." Corrado after two decades of use in North America means "better off running," "gotta run to the auto parts store,' or simply "the runs." In 1988, the global reaction to Volkswagen's Scirocco replacement was "Oh you're being serious about this?" It was an odd move for VW, and an even more unusual choice for consumers in the early 90s. Today, the Corrado is cheap and still considered one of the best-handling FWD cars of all time. Find this 1992 Volkswagen Corrado VR6 for sale in Madison, WI for $3,500 via craigslist. 

The VR6 engine contains two (somewhat) separate cylinder banks sharing one head. Between the Corrado's shock towers, the 2.8-liter 12-valve DOHC unit replaced the mediocre supercharged 4-cylinder, the G-Lader 60, in 1992. It packed 190 naturally aspirated horsepower and sounded devastating to the Celica GT in 1994, or the 266-horsepower Toyota Sienna in 2015 that didn't know you were racing.

We've called the Corrado a cheap Audi TT. Others call it the heavier Golf no one asked for. But the most appropriate analogy would be to a modern Mini. It has a ridiculously stiff structure and gobs of technology (including a motorized rear spoiler that works 80% of the time. Most of the time), and is more fun than a front-driver ought to be. More expensive, too; in 1994, these sold for $25,000. Adjusted for inflation, that's over $39,000. For a big Golf.

This Corrado lacks heat or A/C and has a broken sunroof, seatbelt issues, and a battery that drains itself like a bar-hopping college senior on the dean's front lawn. In other words, it's in great shape for a Corrado. Still, investor-grade Corrados are twice the price and don't offer any more of a guarantee against future problems. Compared to other cars, nothing will beat popping the hood (something you'll do often) and seeing six runners comprising the exhaust manifold. 

This is what a picture of exactly two working sunroofs looks like

See a more entertaining future classic for under $5k? Email us at

PhiLOL actually likes the tuna here, but abhors structural rust. Save the manuals.


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