After Volkswagen’s runaway success with the Golf MK1 (effectively creating the ‘hot hatch’ sector) it was decided by the big-wigs at VW that an updated model was needed in order to keep the new competition at bay (by now the likes of Ford, Opel and Fiat had recognised the value of this new front-wheel drive hot hatch sector and were moving fast to eat into VW’s market share).
In 1983 the MK2 VW Golf was introduced. VW very much aimed to keep the look and feel of the MK1 Golf, so the styling was very similar, but the car was slightly larger and with some additional features, weighed in at around 120kg heavier too. The MK2 model was so successful it was VW’s highest volume seller for almost a decade with over 6 million cars being built.
True to form, it wasn’t long before a “GTI Badged” version came to market. The achingly beautiful MK2 GTI was initially released with a lightly updated version of the 8-valve engine from the MK1 GTI (with around 110bhp) however in 1986 this was updated to a more powerful 16-valve version with over 135bhp! Some VW nuts argue the 8-valve power-plant is a sweeter, more predictable engine than the later unit… but that’s not an argument we want to start here!
Andy’s MK2 Golf GTI is a real classic, and looks just brilliant in “Tornado Red”. Andy’s not had the car long and certainly has plans to put his own touch on the car, however the previous owner has already done some interesting things with it, including an engine swap (more in the owner interview below on this one!).
Volkswagen Golf GTI 8V MK2 (1990)
- Engine swap – the standard MK2 GTI engine has been changed for a 115bhp 2.0 litre, 8-valve AGG engine from the MK3 Golf. A slightly quicker engine, and known for having good low down torque.
- The car sits on BBS RM012 3-piece split rims with stretched tyres fitted.
- Custom exhaust system fitted, however Andy is looking to go back to standard soon, as it's a bit too noisy!
Interview with the owner
- When did you first purchase the car?October 2020!
- What made you buy a VW Golf MK2 then?I turned 40 last year and had always wanted a MK2 GTI, so I decided to treat myself!
- What's it like to drive?It puts a smile on my face every time, it’s a bit loud for my liking but I'm looking to get a new exhaust that’s a bit quieter!
- Has the car been modified in any way?Well, yes, but not by me actually. The previous owner has done a few bits including an engine swap, some aftermarket wheels, and a custom exhaust system.
- So what's been done to the engine?The previous owner put a Mk3 AGG block in with an 8 valve top end. I'm not sure why or what else has been done to the engine, and I’m not very technical so that’s all I know at the moment!
- What about the wheels & tyres? They look great by the way!Yes, so it's sitting on BBS RM012 3-piece split rims. I'm planning to get these refurbed as they're a really nice set of wheels.It currently has a lot of stretch on the tyres, and just because of personal preference, I'm going to get these changed and go for a bit less stretch!
- Is the car a "keeper" or will you sell it one day?I'll take it to my grave!
- Ok final question – ignoring cost, and assuming you couldn’t go and sell it for profit… what’s your dream car and why?A Mercedes AMG GT, just love the look of them!