Thursday, 25 October 2012

mkII Golf V5

It's one of my favourite points of automotive pedantry that Volkswagen's VR6 engine isn't actually a V6, as a lot of people assume. It's a transversely-mounted straight-six, with every other cylinder slightly canted so that 1, 3 & 5 are at a marginally different angle to 2, 4 & 6 - but they all share the same cylinder head, so it's by no means a V-engine. (The same is true of the W-engines used by Bugatti, Bentley etc - they obviously aren't actually in a W configuration, that'd be mental.) So when VW launched the V5 engine with the mkIV Golf, it caused all kinds of hilarity - people assumed it was a V-engine with two cylinders on one side and three on the other. 'How can that work?' they asked, 'It must be inherently imbalanced.' Yes, it would be, except that it's actually just a VR6 with a cylinder lopped off; a straight-five, really.

We're now finding more and more opportunities to enjoy this pedantic V5 nitpicking, as it's becoming an increasingly popular engine swap in older VWs. As a standard unit, the red-badge 2.3-litre V5 offers 170bhp and is ripe for tuning; given its girthsome displacement, it's not all that heavy either.

The V5 in the mkII you see here, just for fun, throws a custom-built turbocharger into the mix. Power figures aren't given, but we can probably assume 250bhp+. The quality build also comprises FK coilovers, Corrado brakes, two-piece ARE wheels, sublime half-leather Recaros and a truly eyewatering shade of green, which really shouldn't work but somehow totally does. All in all, a pretty kickass mkII.
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