I remember when the 1992 Volkswagen Golf VR6 came out; fans of the earlier models were eagerly waiting for it, and it showed much promise, at least on paper. Unfortunately, it did not deliver as it should have, for a wide number of reasons. The first one was build quality, or in this specific case the lack of it. VW seemed to have abandoned its credo of quality, and it showed in the terrible attention to detail. The way the suspension was set up also raised eyebrows, as it was not tuned for sport, but rather for touring, which surprised many. In terms of styling, the Volkswagen Golf Mk3 completely missed the boat with its dumpy, uninspired design. Thankfully, there were other areas that redeemed it.
What made the Golf VR6 special was, well, the VR6. This narrow-angle 2.8-liter V6, normally aspirated engine developed 174 horsepower and plenty of torque, and was known to be powerful and silky-smooth. The five-speed manual transmission was also a pleasure to behold. The VR6, stock, was good for an 138 mph top speed, and a 0-60 acceleration time of 7.5 seconds.
Now comes the fun part, which goes to show that when the fundamentals are right, everything else can be fixed. The VR6 was, and still is a favorite of tuners. The engine could be turbocharged for insane power, and the suspension stiffened and lowered not only for looks, but for excellent handling. As far as the styling goes, countless kits are available to customize the car and improve on its admittedly ordinary look.
The 1992 Volkswagen Golf VR6 truly was a diamond in the rough, which goes to show that with a little imagination, some time and a lot of money, you can do wonderful things!