Although it appeared to be a replacement for the MK 1 Golf based Scirocco coupe, VW was aiming the MK 2 based Carrado at higher targets. They were gunning for the wave of sophisticated Japanese coupes that arrived during the late 1980s, and the entry level Porsches that were proving so popular. The styling was something of a surprise after VW’s previously conservative approach, but the bluntly drawn front and rear were a great success with critics and car buyers alike. The car also benefited from reasonable space for four passengers and good boot space. Some commentators, however, were not impressed by the Passat derived dashboard and switch gear. Despite the humble underpinnings, the Carrado’s handling was superb, although the performance on offer from the entry level 1.8 liter 16v engine wasn’t startling. VW also offered an innovative 160 bhp supercharged version of the 8 valve GTI engine in the car for those wanting power. However, the engineering involved in the G60’s supercharged was both difficult and expensive, and it was destined to never capture the promise that it had once seemed to offer.
Once VW had fitted its new, narrow angle 190 bhp VR6 engine into the Carrado’s nose, a modern classic was born. The languid power delivery and fall safe handling blended to create an uncommonly satisfying car that could switch between long legged grand tourer and frenzied sports car in an instant. Production was halted in 1996 with the special edition VR6 Storm model.