The fate of the Volkswagen Corrado is both tragic and, depending on who you ask, it was also predictable. Originally conceived as a Scirroco succesor, the 2+2 liftback never sold well. As per Volkswagen, less than 100,000 units were manufactured from 1988 to 1995. In the United States, less than 10,000 examples were sold.
Why the Corrado failed is simple. It was too strange for the time. Both the styling and the funky VR6 engine under the hood were viewed with skepticism by the public, even though auto journos waxed lyrical about the damn thing with positive road tests and reviews. In hindsight, the Corrado was a car ahead of its time.
The active rear spoiler, for example, is designed to raise automatically when speed exceeds 45 mph in the U.S.-spec model’s case. There’s a switch in the cabin that allows the driver to manually control the spoiler, a feature that spells “personal affirmation now loading.” Narcissistic it may be, but the said system paved the way for the go-faster cars the Volkswagen Group produces today, including the Audi TT and Porsche Panamera.
When all is said and done, it’s the VR6 engine that defines the Corrado best. Over in North America, it displaces 2.8 liters and develops 179 horsepower. Zero to 60 mph is doable in just 6.4 seconds, which is pretty quick even by modern-day standards.
As Mr. Regular puts it in his newest video, the VR6 somehow sounds like a well-tuned inline-4. It’s also positioned in such a way so that the front isn’t too heavy, thus improving the handling characteristics of the much-missed and increasingly rare Corrado. For more on that, press play and let Mr. Regular take you down Nostalgia Road.