The Golf Rallye really is something quite special. Just 5,000 were built to satisfy FIA homologation requirements for the 1990 World Rally Championship and although the best VW had to show for its efforts was a solitary third place the legacy is a thoroughly fascinating vehicle. Back in 1986, Kenneth Eriksson won the inaugural Group A World Rally championship in a Golf GTI 16V but, with the banning of Group B, the likes of Lancia, Ford and Toyota switched their full attention to Group A and VW suddenly found itself dealing with Sierra Cosworths, Lancia Delta Integrales and Toyota Celica GT4s. The Golf Rallye was its riposte.
Instead of the usual 1,781cc of displacement, WRC rules meant that the engine was downsized to 1,763cc, but the G-Lader supercharger gave the Rallye a respectable 160bhp at 5,600rpm. It was enough to haul the Golf Rallye to 62mph from rest in 8.6 seconds and hit a top speed a whisker under 130mph.
This superb homologation special has been in the current ownership for the last 7 years. Almost twice the price of a GTI when it was launched, this four-wheel-drive, ‘hot hatch’ is an undeniably collectable piece.