Most hot hatch enthusiasts whose adolescence was spent in the late 80's & early 90's will remember when the Corrados were first introduced, as a late but much improved roughly equivalent replacement for the original Sirocco Mk 2's. These were sold in the U.S. too (The original Sirrocco wasn't).
In the UK they were at first introduced ar LHD's only but once Volkswagen realised the UK was a viable enough market to warrant manufacture in RHD, they proceeded. The first 16V Corrados were not only better built than it's older Sirocco sibling, but now had a whisker under 140 bhp with better breathing courtesy of the 16V twin cam head, to cope with an increase in weight of 120kg. Thereafter, the Corrado G60 (160 bhp) and later the VR6 2.8 (179 bhp) & 2.9 (187 bhp) models were released. The VR6 had wider arches, improved suspension with a wider track & revised rear axle assembly, a subtly raised bonnet, revised grille & front bumper. These styling & chassis options were carried over on the entire range of specs. from 1992. The chassis modifications improved handling and ride. Some preferred the smooth 12 valve VR6, but those who really knew these cars well and had compared the two, knew the lighter weight under the G60's bonnet with less weight ahead of the front cross member made for a better handling car, especially with post facelift models which carried the further chassis and styling improvements described above. Not least, the G60 was very easy to tune for more power (by changing the pulley ratio of the supercharger), with power increases obviously not nearly as easily done of the normally aspirated VR6.
With it's go-cart like handling and stylish looks, the Corrado naturally appealed to younger drivers as it depreciated over tune and therein many of those that survive today have been given hard lives at the hands of merciless younger owners, or been extensively modified. Today there are very few left in low mileage original & completely rust free condition, as this example. Most suffered from chassis corrosion but this example never having seen salt, or the other corrosive & wearing natures of European roads - remains beautifully preserved throughout.
Magazines and road testers in TV programmes gushed praise on the Corrado. 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 then re-launched Top Gear, 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." He also stated that the Corrado "was too expensive, and nobody bought it".
Many 1980's & 90's icons that are now collectable have been increasing sharply in price and being in the international market for 90's performance icons over the last 17 years we can see they will continue to rise in value going forward. As one of the best styled 1990's hot hatch coupes with performance & handling to match, this is one of those icons that is now sharply increasing in value, where the best examples are concerned.
We knew of Corrados that had originally been supplied new in Japan by Yanase (official importer of VW) but through extensive searching over the years we know most were supplied in Japan with Automatic transmission.
We searched and rejected several less than perfect examples over a long period of time till we finally came across this one, after over 12 months of searching.
Photographs will show it's clearly been kept well, always garaged since new by it's single owner. There is a thick folder full of service & inspection data which further confirms the love this car has had during it's entire life in Japan.
To explain it's rust free condition, it's important to understand that in Japan, all roads are drained of water through the use of efficient concrete storm ditches (there are heavy rains at times from typhoons and Japan is 70% mountain terrain with forest, so safety is paramount). This means there is no mud & debris washed onto roads during storms, unlike what is commonly seen throughout Europe. Roads in Japan are probably the best maintained worldwide, without potholes, mostly smooth surfaces with good grip, etc. Japan is also the country with the largest network of roads in the world for a given area.
No salt, grit or sand is laid on road surfaces over winters in the most populated areas, as urban towns & cities are invariably built on lower plains, due to risk of earthquakes and consequential landslides that would be risked if building on mountain areas. Because roads are so well designed and maintained in Japan with drainage as described, this means undersides of Japanese cars don't tend to be covered in electrolytic dirt & when the underside gets wet in rain corrosion is much less likely to develop. Essentially car's undersides are washed clean in Japan when they drive on wet roads. This explains why older used vehicles from Japan are typically completely rust free, including their undersides and all components. By contrast if you were to feel the inner arch of a car that's been on British roads for a decade or more, it will have corrugated dirt built up inside from years of exposure. This is electrolytic when wet and therefore corrosive. Corrosion to these VW's was common in much of Europe.
In keeping with the history of it's life in Japan this example, although rust proofed as new from the factory, has no corrosion at all to the underside. Even the original exhaust remains corrosion free as the original item supplied with this car, new in 1992. Try finding the same in Europe!
Note that in Japan it's not uncommon for imports to be LHD despite being a RHD country. This is because after WW2 there were no cars of good quality made in Japan yet, so imports were considered a status symbol. As there is very little legal overtaking on the opposite side of the road in Japan, LHD remains a status symbol. All exotica, Prestige and such are LHD in Japan.
Condition report: It would be easy for any enthusiast to assume this car's condition is just like any other Corrado that has been used through it's life on UK or European roads, but the truth is close up in the places that are known to be problematic, these cars do suffer from corrosion in the EU. Bolts seize, wheels corrode, interiors wear away, dashboards crack, paint fades, etc.
This example has been amazingly well preserved. The body is completely straight and paintwork original and still beautiful, the mechanicals (incl. suspension bushes, etc) all show low wear. If you compared this to a UK car of the same age, it'll either have this covered in rust or a thick coating of underseal to hide the corrosion beneath it!
Note the original wheels on this car and their condition after 24 years of (occasional) use have zero corrosion, even on the inside. For this reason we shot the car before having minor paint faults on wheel edges repaired, so the perspective owner can see the car's original condition. The interior is similarly very well preserved except for the bolsters, which as with all Corrados, have become creased over time. We will be having the foam replaced once the car arrives to the UK. Also, under the bonnet the insulation foam has hardened and begun to fall away, so we have ordered brand new replacements, which will also be fitted as we complete final preparation of this car. It'll be presented as not far off new condition, with inspection also available for the underside.
Test Drive: Performance from the supercharged engine is strong for a hatchback of this era with good . There are no rattles from the suspension and no drama from the brakes, even under hard use. It's a pleasure to drive. Condition of this example is much like that of a 6 year old car in the UK.
This Corrado G60 will shortly be shipped to the UK & will be supplied registered, MOT'd and kept in dry storage, ready for it's new owner and can be viewed by appointment. Within a few more years this will appreciate considerably, as one of the best 1990's VW models made. Being LHD we expect it to find a discerning new owner somewhere in Europe. It will also be fully serviced & inspected, ready for any challenge of driving through Europe, ready to be used regularly if desired.
Price: £9,495. Including full valeting and new MOT (required for registration) with 12 months comprehensive warranty.
Contact us if you're after the very best Facelift Corrado G60 available.
Hurry, if you're a serious G60 collector. Once this is gone it will likely take another year or longer to find a replacement in Japan, or never again as the case is most likely to be.
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