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The Golf G60
It may surprise many people to learn that the G60 GTi is actually slower than the 16-valve to 60mph although it has a higher to speed. Unlike the aftermarket turbocharged cars, the factory supercharged GTi does not greet your depressed right foot with an intoxicating rush of power; it is a far more progressive beast than that. For those who have reveled in the characteristics of a powerful turbocharged car, the rather laid-back G60 may well come as a disappointment. It is smooth and progressive and totally unobtrusive, although if you wind down the window you can share the odd-sounding whine with on-lookers, for the G60-powered VW’s sound like no other cars. Where the supercharger scores is in the intermediate-gear acceleration and tractability.
With its lowered suspension and big wheels and tyres, the G60 has a higher level of grip on a smooth road than the 16-valve, and the latest power-steering set-up is a far cry from the over-light arrangement offered on the very early 16-valve cars. The smooth surge of power from the G60 engine is very satisfying as you blast from corner to corner on a twisty road, and there is a feel, as well as GTi, that the basic chassis is capable of handling even more power.
An interesting technical innovation VW launched with the Golf G60 was the Electronic Differential Lock (EDL), which uses the ABS sensors to detect variations in wheel speed. Unlike the BMW and Mercedes-Benz ASD systems, which reduce engine power to compensate for lack of traction, the VW system works by slowing the wheels down. If you should encounter a puddle of water or loose gravel mid-bend, you will not get the dramatic loss of composure you might in a standard car. The system only works if there is a difference in speed between the driven wheels.
So it is still possible to spin the wheels if both are on a surface of equal frictional coefficient. If you were to launch the car on a loose surface, you would thus spin the wheels, but the moment one wheel reached a grippy surface, the antics would be called to a halt.
The chassis of the GTi G60 is firm, make no mistake. This is not a soft-riding motorcar, and yet it never really jars your sensibilities. On a rough surface, you are left in no doubt that the car is firm, and the power steering provides plenty of feedback of information. The car’s handling and grip are simply phenomenal. Helped by the EDL, it puts every one of the 160bhp down convincingly. If anything, grip with EDL has changed the handling of the standard car from under steer and lift-off tuck-in to under steer and then neutral. Those used to deliberately using the lift-off tuck-in of the normal GTi as a driving technique will get in a fright the first time they try to induce that effect on an EDL-equipped G60. The only way to bring the tail round is to take a stab at the brakes to alter the weight transfer more dramatically
Reproduced from VW Motoring
It’s often said that the best examples of a particular model come right at the end of it’s production, when the car has been developed to the max, just before it’s successor is launched to begin the next learning curve. This theory would certainly seem to be borne out by this example. Launched in February 1990, the Golf G60 came at the end of production of the Mk2 Golf, enjoying a lifespan of only 18 months. At the heart of this factory-built hot-rod was a 160bhp 8-valve engine, basically similar to the normally-aspirated Golf GTi, but with the addition of the G60 G-lader supercharger.
The G-lader-equipped engine ad first seen the light of day two years earlier, in the Rallye Golf, a four-wheel-drive homologation special, intended for competition use. With the arrival of the G60, the power plant found its way into a much more practical car for every day use, driving through a far simpler front-wheel-drive layout, via an MQ gearbox, the latter featuring a cable gear-change mechanism, as found in the Corrado. Front and rear suspension was lowered, by 20mm and 10mm, respectively, both anti-roll bars were beefed up, and ABS brakes fitted as standard.
The UK market wasn’t fortunate enough to get a right-hand-drive conversion – consequently, all G60’s sold in Britain were left-hand-drive, and only a handful were officially registered, as a result. This rarity value, of course, adds a great deal to the cars kudos. That, and the subtle, understated touches that set it apart from “normal” GTi’s, like wider front and rear wheel arches, and a bonded windscreen..
The car featured here is even rarer than a normal G60! Bought into Britain as a personal import by an Ai Force employee, this is, as can be seen from the badging, an ultra rare three door with the “Edition One” option package. This gave a choice of three metallic paints, including the gorgeous deep-purple hue of this car, known as Dark Burgundy Pear, together with a rake of other equipment, including split-rim BBS 6.5 wheels with 195/50 R15V tyres, dark-tint rear lenses, clear front indicator lenses, a specially trimmed cloth interior with matching electrically-adjustable Recaro front seats, and black chrome glass on the three rear windows. German regulations don’t permit dark tinted glass in windscreen or driver / passenger windows.
Also thrown in for good measure are a leather-trimmed steering wheel, leather gear knob and handbrake gaiter, colour-coded door mirrors and, of course, those lovely “Wolfsburg Edition” badges on the front wings, in place of boring old indicator repeaters!
Engine bay plaque
Golf G60 Syncro
VW Golf Rallye register
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