VW produced a 4-Wheel-Drive version of the Golf Mk3 VR6 called the "Golf VR6 Syncro". It used a viscous coupling system similar (but not identical) to that in the Golf Mk2 Rallye. The system transmits all engine power to the front wheels normally, but if front wheel slip is detected, up to 40% of the engine's power is redirected to the rear wheels until traction is restored.
Not only did the Syncro get 4WD, it also got the 2.9 litre, 190BHP VR6 engine from the Corrado. This helped to offset the additional power lost through the 4WD system. The straight-line performance of the VR6 Syncro is very similar to that of the normal FWD Golf VR6. Off-the line traction and cornering ability (especially in the wet) is greatly improved, though!
Unfortunately, the Golf VR6 Syncro was only ever sold in Mainland Europe, and all examples are left-hand-drive. A number of Syncros have been imported into the UK by enthusiasts, however, and they do come up on the second-hand market from time to time. They are EXTREMELY rare in the UK, though.
If you want one, the best place to look is in German second-hand car classifieds and German eBay. When searching, note the European spelling of "syncro" (not the English spelling, "synchro")
How to tell the difference between the Highline and the standard Golf VR6
The Golf VR6 Highline was introduced in April 1995. Production continued right up until 1998 when the Golf Mk3 was discontinued.
The Highline was the flagship of the Golf Mk3 range and cost Â£2,500 more than the standard Golf VR6. Due to the higher initial cost and the relative rarity of the Highline, second-hand examples are worth 15-20% more than a standard VR6 of the same age, mileage and condition.
When looking to buy a Highline, it is very important to be aware of the differences, since many traders try to sell standard VR6s as Highlines (for Higline money!) when in fact they are not Highlines at all.
The Highline is mechanically identical to any other VR6 of the same age, and has the same power output and performance. All of the Highline enhancements are to the appearance and trim level of the car.
The Highline was ONLY available in two colours, both two-coat pearlescents - Black magic pearl (paint code LC9Z) and Purple violet (paint code LC4P). The purple violet colour is often referred to as "Mulberry".
Both 3 and 5-door versions were available. All Highlines have fully body-colour bumpers and matching body-colour side rubbing strips.
Golf VR6 Highline in Black Magic pearl:
Golf VR6 Highline in Mulberry:
ALL Highlines state "Golf VR6 Highline" as the "Model/Type" on the V5 Registration document (logbook). It is very important to check this when buying!
"Highline" stated on the V5:
All highlines had air conditioning, electric sunroof and leather seats as standard. The front seats are heated and the rear seats have headrests. The colour of the leather matched the body colour -
- black leather in the Black Highline:
- purple leather in the Mulberry Highline:
Other differences are as follows:
1. The interior trim on the A, B & C pillars (between the windows) on the Highline is black. It is light grey on all other models.
2. The centre console on the Highline is raised at the back, covering the base of the handbrake lever (see photo of the black leather interior above)
3. The Highline has a wood-effect gearlever (see interior photos above), although many people change these for aftermarket items when they start to get worn-looking.
4. The Highline does not have the plastic side skirts that are fitted to all other VR6s (although some people retro-fit these)
5. The highline had 15" six-spoke BBS Solitude alloys as standard, rather than the cross-spoke BBS on all other VR6s:
Although, like with other VR6s, many people have swapped the standard wheels for 16" or 17" aftermarket items.
6. VR6 badges on both the front grille and on the rear are of a different design - a single black rectangle with a chrome border and the VR6 logo in the middle:
7. The VW badge on the tailgate is also of a slighly different design to other Mk3s. It is convex rather than flat, and looks like this:
8. The Highline has sill protectors at the bottom of the door openings, with the VR6 logo on them.
9. The Highline has low-level red courtesy lights in the doors, which illuminate when the doors are opened.