Back in the late 1980s, Volkswagen spotted a market niche. Buyers were starting to move away from Golf GTis and into more expensive sports saloons, like the BMW 3 Series. The draw of a smooth and powerful six-cylinder engine was proving very tempting for many.
The six-cylinder Golf VR6 appeared in 1992, and was an instant success. At a stroke, it won back old customers and lifted the Golf upmarket. A new benchmark for high performance hatchbacks had been established.