In 1989, Volkswagen took their tried-and-tested Synchro four-wheel-drive system and attached it to a heavily revised and supercharged 1.8, to create the imposing Golf Rallye.
The 80.6 mm bore and 86.4 mm stroke created a displacement of 1763cc, whilst a compression ratio of 8:1 and maximum supercharged boost pressure of 0.65 bar meant that the engine produced a thrilling 160 bhp at 5600 rpm. The fuel delivery was controlled by a Digifant electronic injection and the transmission a five-speed box previously used in the Passat.
The Rallye included a more angular, aggressive-looking body kit that made this hot hatch even sportier.
Suspension was similar to the 16-valve, except that the springs and shock absorbers had higher damping rates and stronger anti-roll bars to make the ride even tighter. As standard, the Rallye sat on 6Jx15-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels, wearing 205/50VR-15 tyres. 60mph could be seen in just under 7.6 seconds, whilst the top speed was pushed to 130 mph.
The bodywork was different, too, with front and rear bumpers remoulded to include more aggressive aprons. There were extended steel wheel arches, rectangular headlamps and a three-bar grille that made it stand out from the GTIs and look considerably more modern. Less than 70 were officially imported into the UK, and most had half-leather, electric windows and sunroof 'Lux' specification (although many on the Continent were as basic as the GTI). The Rallye was a limited production model, with no more than 5000 being built, so VW decided to use the knowledge and technology gained in the Rallye project to come up with the G60.
The VW Golf Mk2 GTI G60 had a supercharger bolted to an 8V engine that gave it more immediate power and response.
Mechanically, the G60 differed from the Rallye with 5 mm extra ride height, though it was still 20 mm lower at the front and 10 mm lower at the rear than a standard GTI. All were front-wheel drive with a 1781cc 8-valve GTI unit fitted with a G-Lader supercharger that together produced 160 bhp. Hitched up to a new HQ gearbox, with a decent set of Iow and closely-spaced ratios, top speed stepped up to 134 mph, and 60 mph was possible in just 7.1 seconds. The G60 came in both three and five-door options, with only a subtle G60 badge differentiating it from the normal GTI. A limited number had Edition One special equipment packs that added electric Recaros along with a leather steering wheel and gearstick gaiter.
The “G-Lader” supercharged 1.8-litre four-cylinder Golf G60 engine.