Automotive Volkswagen Golf Mk2 1983 GTI 16 valve

Published on October 20th, 2019 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


The BEST Volkswagen Golf Ever, In our Eyes!

From our personal experience!

With the all new 8th generation Volkswagen Golf about to be shown to the world in a few days’ time, we would like to share with you, what we think is the very best Volkswagen Golf ever built by the company, the Mk II Golf from 1983. 

A little history

Why can we say this with confidence? Well, we owned two versions of the Mk 2 Golf some time before and we regret selling both today. The first was a 1984 GTi 8-valve which was a private import in from a Malaysian embassy staff. White in colour and with a tartan interior, it served us for 4 years without hesitation even once. This car saw us to Kangar and Kota Bahru many times with eventful fun driving. 

Volkswagen Golf Mk2 1983
Volkswagen Golf Mk2 1983 GTI
Volkswagen Golf Mk2 1983 GTI 16 valve
Volkswagen Golf Mk2 1983 GTI cabin

8-valve vs 16-valve

Then we sold it to get a 1990 Mk 2 16-valve GTi. This 16-valve had a more refined engine at city driving and better fuel economy with a slightly upgraded cabin. But it was not as exciting as our 8-valve GTi which had more torque. A mistake we had made chasing new technology. We should have stayed with the 1984 GTi. We sold the 16-valve to get our current treasure, our 1989 VW Corrado, no regrets with the purchase, just wished we had the money to keep the Mk 2 Golf. Still looking to buy a Mk 2 Golf some day…at a sane asking price. Any out there for sale please let us know. 

In 1983, Volkswagen launched the second generation Golf on the market. This model opened a “Golf generation” and many with it learned to drive. The fact is that this Golf has also become a worldwide success: when it was phased out in 1991, Volkswagen already produced 6.3 million units!


The new Mk 2 had brought more space with it. In a press release from 1983 it was written: “The total length increased by 170 mm (3.99 m), and the vehicle became wider by 55 mm (1.42 m)”. Although the new Golf generation has grown considerably larger, Volkswagen has been able to improve the aerodynamics of the vehicle: the Cd value has dropped from 0.42 to 0.34!

It should also be mentioned that Golf Mk II has set new technical benchmarks in the compact vehicle class. This generation of vehicles recorded the introduction of the catalytic converter (1984), the ABS system (1986) and the power steering. Golf was also available with all-wheel drive for the first time (Syncro, 1986). In addition, the GTI engine was the first four-valve Golf engine (1986).

In 1988 it was launched as a sporting highlight of the series – Rallye Golf G60 – generating 160 hp and having a G-Lader supercharger under the hood. In the same year, golf production reached 10 million: an extremely large one.

An interesting model emerged in 1990: Golf Country with all-wheel drive offered the “first taste” of modern sports utility vehicles (SUVs). Since 1991, Golf Mk II has been assembled not only in Wolfsburg, but also in the new Mosel plant near Zwickau (Saxony).

Volkswagen Golf Mk2 1992 GTI
Volkswagen Golf Mk2 Rallye G60
Volkswagen Golf Mk2 1983  rally

History of Golf Mk II in figures:

  • 1983: The start of the second generation Golf.
  • 1984: First Golf with catalytic converter. The debut of the second generation Golf GTI.
  • 1985: The 7,000,000 golf course left the production line in March.
  • 1986: First Golf (GTI) with four-valve petrol engine. The first Golf Syncro with a viscous coupling (all-wheel drive). Similarly, Golf Syncro became the first Golf with ABS since August.
  • 1987: ABS becomes available for all GT and GTI models. The catalytic converter also becomes available for smaller engines. The generation is undergoing a facelift. The Golf GT Syncro becomes the first with standard ABS.
  • 1988: Rallye Golf G60 debuts. The debut of the Golf Limited G60. Golf with 10,000,000 left the production line in June.
  • 1989: The golf course with the number 11,000,000 left the production line in October. The debut of the Golf City Stromer and Golf Hybrid models.
  • 1990: All Golf models with gasoline engines began to come standard with a catalytic converter from February. The same year Golf Country debuted. The Golf GTI unit with the number 1,000,000 left the production line in November and also this month the Golf model with the order number 12,000,000.
  • 1991: The first Golf produced at the Mosel plant near Zwickau in March. The second generation was phased out of Western Europe after a total of 6.3 million units were produced.

In four days the 8th generation Golf will be unveiled and we wait for its arrival. 

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