Finding a lightly used VR6 is heavy going – and increasingly expensive
By PH Staff / Tuesday, August 10, 2021 / Loading comments
Do you need to be a certain age now to really appreciate the VW Corrado? We’ve been harping on about the timeless quality of its design for more than a quarter of a century after all, and for all its cohesiveness, it doesn’t seem completely out of the question to suggest that someone born after 1995 might think the coupe a little staid when compared to say, an Alpine A110.
Certainly the Corrado appears more of-its-time now than it did in previous decades. For a good while it stood out as a beacon of well-honed VW styling as we endured several life cycles of forgettable sludge. But ever since launch of the Mk5 Golf GTI, the manufacturer has worked itself back into a solid groove. Drop-dead gorgeous isn’t a commodity expected of the mainstream, yet VW has ploughed its well-groomed furrow long enough now for people to know what they’re getting.
Of course it’s cars like the Corrado which helped establish the buttoned down, everything-in-its-place aesthetic. Except the coupe didn’t rely on stuck on bumpers or air vent tinsel to distinguish it from the model it was based on. There might be a Mk2 Golf floorpan underneath, but the liftback coupe had a look all of its own; somewhat redolent of the Scirocco it came to replace – and the Rallye Golf which preceded it – though more upmarket and better resolved than either.
Lest we forget, it drove very well, too. The Corrado earned plenty of plaudits for its engaging handling, and was considered a touchstone for front-drive cars years after VW withdrew it from sale. This meant its status as a future classic was conferred almost instantly – especially when you take into account the fact that for all the contemporaneous affection and praise it garnered, it never sold in huge numbers (part of the reason why it retired without a successor).
Basic good looks, dynamic prowess, comparatively low sales volume and a charismatic petrol engine – the flagship 190hp 2.9-litre VR6 – ought to have ensured indefatigable secondhand prices from the get-go. Or it would in 2021, at least. More than twenty years ago, not so much. Moreover, people bought a Corrado to drive, and most guiltlessly racked up the miles, meaning that even as the car started to appreciate, genuine low-mileage examples are hard to come by.
Which goes some way to accounting for the £26,995 being asked for this one. It’s a late model high-spec manual VR6 in fairly rare and not terrifically complimentary Candy White. The kicker, needless to say, is the trifling 32k it has covered since new. The last Corrado we covered cost less than half as much, but had covered almost three times the distance. Delicate man maths even for the most devoted practitioner. Probably a good thing then that anyone old enough to properly reminisce about the Corrado’s heyday is now likely in a position to make the sums work.
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