Volkswagen Golf Mk2

Volkswagen Golf Mk2
6.3 million units
Wolfsburg, Germany,
Brussels, Belgium,
TAS, Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
New Stanton, Pennsylvania, United States
Puebla, Puebla, Mexico
Uitenhage, South Africa,
Graz, Austria, ( Golf Country only),
Body and chassis
Body style
3-door hatchback
5-door hatchback
Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive
Volkswagen Group A2 platform
Volkswagen Jetta
Volkswagen Corrado
SEAT Toledo Mk1
1.3 L EA111 I4
1.6L EA827 I4
1.8L EA827 I4
1.8L G60 I4
2.0L EA827 I4
1.6L EA827 I4 diesel
1.6L EA827 I4 turbodiesel
Electric motor
4-speed manual
5-speed manual
3-speed automatic
2,470 mm (97.2 in)
3,985 mm (156.9 in)−4,054 mm (159.6 in)
1,665–1,700 mm (65.6–66.9 in)
1,415 mm (55.7 in)
Curb weight
910–1,245 kg (2,006–2,745 lb)
Volkswagen Golf Mk1
Volkswagen Golf Mk3
The Volkswagen Golf Mk2 is a compact car, the second generation of the Volkswagen Golf and the successor to the Volkswagen Golf Mk1. It was Volkswagen's volume seller from 1983 and remained in (German) production until late 1992. The Mk2 was larger than the Mk1; its wheelbase grew slightly (+ 75 mm (3.0 in)), as did exterior dimensions (length + 180 mm (7.1 in), width + 55 mm (2.2 in), height + 5 mm (0.2 in)). Weight was up accordingly by about 120 kg (260 lb). Exterior design, developed in-house by VW design director Schäfer, kept the general lines of its Giugiaro-designed predecessor, but was slightly more rounded. All told, about 6.3 million second-generation Golfs were built.

Golf Mark 2

5door VW Golf Mk2 rear
The second-generation Volkswagen Golf (also known as the Typ 19E until the 1991 model year, and Typ 1Gthereafter) was launched in Europe at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 1983, with sales beginning in its homeland and most other left-hand drive markets soon after. It debuted in March 1984 on the British market, and it was introduced as a 1985 model in the US. It featured a larger bodyshell, and a wider range of engine options, including a GTD turbodiesel (in Euro markets, later using the 1.6 "umwelt" (ECO) diesel engine), a DOHC 1781 cc (1.8) 16-valve version of the straight-four GTI (as well as the tried and tested 1781cc (1.8) 8v GTI), the supercharged 8v "G60" with front- and four-wheel drive options, and a racing homologated variant of this, the "Rallye Golf". This model was meant to come to the US as well (badged as "Rallye GTI"), and prototypes were made, but it did not come to be.
The original Golf had been one of the few front-wheel drive hatchbacks on sale when launched in 1974, but within a decade almost all major manufacturers had launched a Golf-like family hatchback. Ford had switched to front-wheel drive hatchback format for its MK3 Escort in 1980, soon after General Motors had adapted that concept for its latest Opel Kadett (Vauxhall Astra in Britain). Austin Rover (formerly British Leyland) did not enter the small family hatchback market until the launch of its Maestro at the beginning of 1983, although it had launched its larger Maxi hatchback as long ago as 1969 and in 1976 had taken the then unusual step of launching a hatchback bodystyle on a luxury car (the Rover SD1). Peugeot would not launch its first Golf-sized hatchback (the 309) until late 1985, but it had taken ownership of Chrysler's European division in 1978, just after the launch of the Chrysler/Simca Horizon hatchback. However, the likes of Fiat, Renault and Volvo had all entered the small family hatchback market by the end of the 1970s. The hatchback bodystyle had also become popular on cars produced outside Europe, particularly on Japanese models.
In 1985, British motoring magazine What Car? awarded the Golf Mk2 1985 "Car of the Year". It sold well in Britain, peaking in 1989 with well over 50,000 sales as the 11th best selling car and most popular foreign car.
However, the Golf was overshadowed in the 1984 European Car of the Year contest, finishing third but being heavily outscored by the victorious Fiat Unoand runner-up Peugeot 205, which were similar in size to Volkswagen's smaller Polo.
During the life of the Golf MK2, there were a number of external style revisions. Notable changes to the looks of the Golf MK2 included the removal of quarterlight windows in the front doors, and the introduction of larger grille slats with the August 1987 facelift. The most notable was the introduction of so-called "Big Bumpers", which were introduced in the European market with an August 1989 facelift. They were available in the US from August 1989 as well, as part of the "Wolfsburg Edition" package. They were not standardized until January, 1990.
This Golf was marketed for the first time with that name in the United States and Canada. The Rabbit name used on the Mk1 was meant to give a car a cuddly image, but with the 1980s redesign of the car, Carl Hahn, the former Volkswagen of America president who was now chairman of the whole company, dictated that Volkswagen model names be standardized globally. James Fuller, head of the Volkswagen brand in North America, concurred in using the Golf name to stress the car's Teutonic character. The GTI body kit became available on a non-injection Golf and was sold as the "Driver" trim level in Europe. While the GTI remained a trim level in the Golf lineup in Europe, in some markets, it was (and continues to be) marketed as a separate model line.
Volkswagen also produced their model in Yugoslavia, in a factory at Vogosca near Sarajevo, called Tvornica Automobila Sarajevo - TAS. The MK2 was produced from 1985 with a yearly production of 25,000 units until the outbreak of war in 1992. This model was produced only for the six Yugoslav republics, with a rear badge JX (which stands for less equipment than C and CL), C and CL and TAS badge on the front grille and Sarajevo city logo instead side blinkers. Engines were 1.3 (carburetor), 1.6 petrol and 1.6 diesel.


1987-89 Volkswagen Golf II 5-door (France)
1988-89 Volkswagen Golf 3-Door (US)
The Golf Mk2 was available as a 3- and 5-door hatchback. The 2-door and 4-door sedan variants of the Golf Mk2 were marketed under the Volkswagen Jetta name. No cabriolet version was developed from the Mk2; instead, the Mk1-based convertible continued to be produced, with minor changes.
Trim levels included base, C, CL and GL and initially a range-topping Carat model (until 1986), later a GT (in 1987) version was also on offer. In North America, there was only a base model until 1986, in 1987 a GL and GT model, in 1988-1989, there were all three, and in 1990 until the end of its run there was again only a GL. The GTI model existed from 1985–1987, and again from 1990–1992, and the GTI 16v existed from 1987–1992. In Japan the range consisted of catalysed Ci/CLi/GLi models all sharing the same 1.6 or later 1.8 liter fuel-injected I4 engines. In the course of the years, a host of "limited edition" models appeared on various markets, distinguished by cosmetic changes and/or an enriched features list. Generally, these were option packages on top of a base "model" (CL, GL, etc.). Also in some countries it could be found trim level TX (Austria) and JX (Yugoslavia)
New base engine was a 1.05 litre inline four; other engine offerings included 1.3, 1.6 and 1.8 litre petrol fours and 1.6 litre naturally aspirated or turbocharged diesel engines. In North America, all Golf Mk2s had 1.8 liter petrol or 1.6 diesel engines (the GTI, while not a Golf model in North America, also had a 2.0 liter model).

Golf GTI & GTI 16v

1990-1992 Volkswagen GTI 3-door (US)
1988: Golf 16V
The successful Golf GTI (or, in the USA, simply "GTI") was continued with the Mk2 as a sporty 3- or 5-door hatchback. Like late Mk1 GTIs, it featured a fuel-injected 1.8 litre four developing 112 PS (82 kW; 110 hp). In 1986 (1987 for North America) a Golf GTI 16V was introduced; here the 1.8 litre engine put out 139 PS (102 kW; 137 hp) (or 129 PS (95 kW; 127 hp) for the catalyst version) and the model was marked by discreet red and black "16v" badges front and rear. US/Canadian GTIs were later equipped with 2.0 16 valve-engines, available in the Passat and Corrado outside North America. In 1990, like the Golf, the GTI was given a facelift, and the "Big Bumper" became standard on all GTIs. This was maintained through the rest of the Mk2 model era. In 1990 the GTi G60 was also introduced featuring the 8v 1.8 with a G60 supercharger this version is not to be confused with the very rare G60 Limited (see below).

Golf Syncro

In February 1986, Volkswagen presented the first Golf with four-wheel drive. This Golf Syncro was available with the 1.8 engine only (90 PS (66 kW; 89 hp), later 98 PS (72 kW; 97 hp)). Its 4WD system had been developed in collaboration with Steyr-Daimler-Puch of Austria, and featured a viscous coupling and flexible partition of torque between front and rear axle. Due to its high price (in 1986, a Syncro cost about 30% more than an equivalent front wheel drive model) the model remained rare; from 1986 to 1989, for instance, just 26,000 Syncros were built.

Rallye Golf

Rallye Golf
In 1989, the Rallye Golf appeared as a rallye "homologation special". Distinguishable by its box-flared wheel arches (similar to the Audi quattro, BMW E30 M3 and Lancia Delta Integrale) and rectangular projector headlamps, this model featured Syncro four-wheel drive, a cable shifted transmission and a G-supercharger 1763 cc (less than the typical 1.8L 1781 cc to meet the engine displacement rules) version of the injected 8 valve G60 1.8 liter engine.
Five thousand cars were built in Volkswagen's Brussels, Belgium, plant, priced at about DM 50,000 each (or roughly twice as much as a base Golf GTI). The Rallye Golf has 161Bhp (118 kW).
None were officially sold in the USA. Two were sent over officially for testing, with five sent over for evaluation. Volkswagen of America vice-president James Fuller was a supporter of its addition to the U.S./Canadian lineup. But Fuller was killed in December 1988 while flying home from Germany aboard Pan Am Flight 103, when a bomb planted by Libyan terrorists exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland; this had a detrimental effect on the Rallye Golf's chances of importation to North America.
Eventually, Volkswagen of America decided that the Rallye Golf would be too expensive to offer for sale in the United States and Canada, where car buyers thought of Volkswagen as a low-priced brand.

Golf G60 Limited

Volkswagen Golf Limited
Based on the Rallye Golf, a very limited edition Golf Mk2 variant exists, combining all of the high-line options (Leather interior with heated and height adjustable front seats,4 electric windows,electric mirrors,abs,power steering,sunroof etc.) available at the time. Designed and hand-built by the Volkswagen Motorsport division, only 71 of the "Golf G60 Limited" models were produced. The exclusive feature package included a G60 supercharged version of the 16-valve engine, mated to a sports transmission and Syncro four-wheel drive mechanism, all cars where build in five doors because of the strength of a 5 door chassis (more angles), BBS RM012 wheels in 6.5Jx15", US bumpers, a plain two-headlight grille with a unique blue detail,and a VW Motorsport logo, black VW logo, Hella tinted taillights, motorsport badges and a special numbered plaque. In 1989, these cars cost in the region of DM 68,500 each and were primarily sold to VAG executives and management. These cars produced 210 PS (154 kW; 207 hp) 252 N·m (186 lb·ft) and accelerated from 0–100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 7.2 seconds, making them the most powerful VW Golf ever produced until VW released the Mk4 R32 in 2001 with 241 PS (177 kW; 238 hp) in 2003.

Golf Country

Volkswagen Golf Country
There was also a version called Golf Country (3,000 cars), designed for light off-road driving. It had more suspension travel, four-wheel drive, bullbars (generally over a single headlight grille), a skid plate for protecting the engine area, and a spare wheel mounted externally on the back.
In Europe, it was offered with the acclaimed 114 bhp (85 kW) 1.8 8v petrol engine. There were also: 160 "Country Allround"; 558 " Country - Chrompaket" with Chrome bullbars and beige leather interior; and 50 "Country GTI" for VW-staff. The Golf Country was particularly popular in Alpine regions in central Europe.

Golf Mk2 citySTROMer

In 1984 Volkswagen, in cooperation with RWE, released the second generation 'Gold citySTROMer, an electric version of the Mk2 Golf. It was the first electric Volkswagen to enter serial production as the Mk1 citySTROMER was only a prototype vehicle. The Mk2 citySTROMer had a range of approximately 31 mi (50 km) and used 16 gel-electrolyte batteries mounted under the cargo area and rear seats. Just 100 Mk2 citySTROMers were produced and sold for 45,000DM (~US$34,000) until production ceased in 1985. The citySTROMer name was continued in later models; the Jetta citySTROMer and the Mk3 Golf citySTROMer.


Engine designation
Engine Code (family)
Top speed
0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) (s)
1,272 cc (77.6 cu in)
HK/MH (EA111)
55 PS (54 hp; 40 kW) @ 5400 rpm
96 Nm (71 lbft) @ 3300 rpm
94 mph (151 km/h)
1,272 cc (77.6 cu in)
NZ/2G (EA111)
55 PS (54 hp; 40 kW) @ 5200 rpm
96 Nm (71 lbft) @ 3400 rpm
94 mph (151 km/h)
1,595 cc (97.3 cu in)
EZ (EA827)
75 PS (74 hp; 55 kW) @ 5000 rpm
125 N·m (92 lb·ft) @ 2500 rpm
104 mph (167 km/h)
1,595 cc (97.3 cu in)
RF (EA827)
72 PS (71 hp; 53 kW) @ 5200 rpm
120 Nm (89 lbft) @ 2700 rpm
102 mph (164 km/h)
1,781 cc (108.7 cu in)
GU (EA827)
90 PS (89 hp; 66 kW) @ 5200 rpm
145 Nm (107 lbft) @ 3300 rpm
111 mph (179 km/h)
1.8 G60
1,781 cc (108.7 cu in)
PG (G60)
162 PS (160 hp; 119 kW) @ 5600 rpm
225 Nm (166 lbft) @ 4000 rpm
134 mph (216 km/h)
1.8 G60 Limited
1,781 cc (108.7 cu in)
3G (G60)
210 PS (207 hp; 154 kW) @ 6500 rpm
252 Nm (186 lbft) @ 5000 rpm
139 mph (224 km/h)
1.8 GTI
1,781 cc (108.7 cu in)
EV (EA827)
112 PS (110 hp; 82 kW) @ 5500 rpm
153 Nm (113 lbft) @ 3100 rpm
120 mph (193 km/h)
1.8 GTI 16v
1,781 cc (108.7 cu in)
KR (EA827)
139 PS (137 hp; 102 kW) @ 6100 rpm
168 Nm (124 lbft) @ 4600 rpm
129 mph (208 km/h)
1.8 Rallye
1,763 cc (107.6 cu in)
1Y (1Y)
160 PS (158 hp; 118 kW) @ 5800 rpm
225 Nm (166 lbft) @ 3800 rpm
1.8 Synchro
1,781 cc (108.7 cu in)
RP (EA827)
90 PS (89 hp; 66 kW) @ 5250 rpm
142 Nm (105 lbft) @ 3000 rpm
111 mph (179 km/h)
2.0 16v
1,984 cc (121.1 cu in)
9A (EA827)
134 hp (100 kW; 136 PS) @ 5800 rpm
186 Nm (137 lbft) @ 4400 rpm
1.6 D
1,588 cc (96.9 cu in)
JP (EA827)
54 PS (53 hp; 40 kW) @ 4800 rpm
100 Nm (74 lbft) @ 2300 rpm
89 mph (143 km/h)
1.6 TD
1,588 cc (96.9 cu in)
JR (EA827)
69 PS (68 hp; 51 kW) @ 4500 rpm
133 Nm (98 lbft) @ 2600 rpm
99 mph (159 km/h)
1.6 TD
1,588 cc (96.9 cu in)
SB (EA827)
60 PS (59 hp; 44 kW) @ 4500 rpm
110 Nm (81 lbft) @ 2300 rpm
94 mph (151 km/h)

North America

As with the North American Rabbit, the second-generation Golf was produced for North America in Pennsylvania. When sales in North America failed to live up to expectations and with increasing productions costs, the Westmoreland Assembly Plant was closed in July 1988. Subsequent Golfs sold in North America came from the Puebla assembly plant, in Mexico. The Mk2 Golf was discontinued in Europe in 1991, but Mexican-made Mk2 models remained available in North America for another year.
In its first year on sale in North America, 1985, the Golf 2 maintained sealed-beam square headlights, while the GTI bore flush headlights (from the Jetta). All Golfs gained the flush "aerolamps" in 1987 after a design freshening to move it more upscale in the wake of the introduction of the Brazilian-built Fox (Voyage in Brazil) in North America. This is also the reasoning for the model being called "Golf GL", while virtually no equipment changes occurred. The 1985 U.S. models are easy to distinguish from subsequent models due to the absence of a high-mounted brake light; these became required of all cars sold in the U.S. for 1986.
The GTI was Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year for 1985, as well as VWVortex's "Best Golf of all time".
In its first year on sale in the U.S., Golf sales were eight percent below those of the 1984 Rabbit. Sales of the all-new 1985 Jetta, by contrast, skyrocketed compared with the 1984 model. In 1986, the Jetta became VW's bestseller in North America, a position it has held ever since.
As with the Mk1, there was a "warm hatch" version known as the Golf GT. Introduced in 1987, it featured the GTI's exterior styling, namely the red stripe exterior trim, and wheel-arch spoilers but with a standard 1.8 L engine, available in an automatic and with 5 doors (unlike the GTI). It only lasted for a few years, but with the reintroduction of the GTI in 1989 (the GTI 16v was produced continuously from 1987–1992), this model bore the concept. Year by year, the GTI with the 8 valve engine lost its GTI-like features, getting standard Golf brakes in 1990, suspension in 1991, losing the MFA computer, and finally being optional with an automatic, a first in GTI history. All GTI models got the European quad-headlight grille with the upgrade to big bumpers in 1990.
A 2.0 L engine producing 134 hp (100 kW) replaced the 1.8 in 1990 - 1992 North American 16V models. This version included 15" 2pc BBS RM wheels. In the interior, the Recaro seats no longer had vinyl bolsters of earlier GTIs.

Mexico (1987-1992)

Interior of the Mark 2
The Golf Mk2 was introduced in Mexico in March 1987 to replace the successful Caribe (Golf Mk1). It was available with two variants of the 1.8lt engine: A 72 hp (54 kW), and the 85 hp (previously used in the Caribe GT, the Atlantic GLS and the Corsar). It came in C, CL and GL trims, with a 4 speed manual gearbox for the "small" engine (C and CL), and 5 speed manual and optional 3 speed automatic for the 85 hp (63 kW) version (GL). Tires for the C and CL were 155 SR 13, and P 175/70 R 13 for the GL. In 1988 the Golf received the same modifications as in Europe, but the nameplates (which changed for 1989). In 1989 a GTI version was introduced with a 105 hp (78 kW) "Digifant" fuel injected variant of the 1.8 lt engine without catalytic.


In Japan, all models were available as CLI and GLI, with the GTI edition also available. Sales were bolstered due the Golf's compliance with Japanese Government dimension regulations. In 1982, the Golf was joined by the Polo in Japan which was also in compliance.

United Kingdom

Sales in the UK were strong; though it never quite made the top 10 for sales in any of the eight years in sale, it came close. In 1990, it was the UK's 12th most popular car with almost 50,000 sales. As of 2012, over 20 years after the Mk2 Golf's demise, it is still a very common sight on British roads and is being recognized by many as a growing classic, quite unlike many other similar-sized cars of its generation, such as the Austin Maestro.

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Last updated on 12 July 2014 at 07:01.

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