Believe it or not, there's a curse to being too good at what you do. The VW Corrado was certainly too much of a good thing. A great-looking sports coupe with good handling, and being one of the first VWs with a VR6, it was just a few pounds of boost away from huge horsepower. As a result, many were run into the ground, and finding a stock example is like that thing about hen's teeth; they're rare.
Stephen Mondry, the owner of this menacing '93 Corrado SLC, wasn't too familiar with them when he was getting into the VW scene. In fact, it was only after searching for a Mk3 Jetta (the most popular model around) that he became aware of the relatively uncommon coupe. "The first time I set my eyes on one, the Jetta was out of the picture," Stephen recalled. "I was hooked on the idea of owning one and started looking for the best candidate."
He didn't make it easy on himself because he wanted a stock car. But luck was on his side when this pristine example showed up, fresh from Florida. Living in Michigan means harsh winters, so he put away the rust-free car at the end of its first summer to keep it clean.
"After a couple years I got the urge to pull out all the stops in the winter of '07," he continued. "I got to talking to good friend Joe Zeeuw and got him onboard for the next phase of the build."
The changes were kept simple, but effective. As a rule of thumb, things were removed and smoothed, like the side markers, side moldings, rear hatch, exhaust cut-out, plus all the badges and markings. The hood was exchanged for a carbon fiber part, held down with Aerocatch hood pins, both of which were painted to match the car. The obligatory 90mm European Corrado lip was added up front (there really is no better choice since VW got that right first time).
French-spec fog- and headlights were included, while the tail lights got some tinting to update them.
But things didn't stop there: "The engine bay and rain tray were stripped and shaved," Stephen told us. "The heating and A/C were removed, and a non-ABS conversion performed. New stainless steel brake lines were run to compliment the rest of the bay, and all unnecessary holes in the firewall and rain tray were filled to create a cleaner look." With the ABS unit out, the front rotors were bumped up to 11.3", and aluminum Mk4 calipers were installed on the rear, with Hawk HPS pads, stainless lines and Brembo rotors all around.
Which just about leads us up to the heart of the beast, the blown VR6: "A couple of fellow enthusiasts had VRTs, and while the experience of driving them was exhilarating to say the least, I didn't think it fit the character of my car. I wanted a good amount of power but with smooth delivery," Stephen explained.
So he decided to add a Vortech centrifugal supercharger to the bored-out block, now equipped with 83mm JE 9:1 compression pistons. The ported and polished head had larger Supertech intake and exhaust valves fitted, Autotech valve springs, 256° Cat cams, and ARP hardware was used throughout the engine. "I choose the Vortech V2 SI supercharger because it was redesigned for better efficiency than the standard models that typically came in VR6 kits. Unlike the V1, this V2 SI had helical-cut gears so it's not as loud, but still makes it's presence known," Steve told us.
The polished blower is massive and, along with the polished piping from the custom chargecooler and Schimmel short-runner intake manifold, it dominates the engine bay. Topped off by a 3" TiAL blow-off valve, it's truly a thing of shock and awe. Not wanting to clutter the engine bay with the chargecooler's reservoir, it's located in the trunk, carpeted to be unobtrusive, and all the lines are under the car.
"The engine harness was reconstructed to account for the addition of Megasquirt stand-alone engine management," Stephen continued. "It was tucked and pulled through the frame rail for a tidy bay. My friend Jon Komarmy had recently built a VRT running the same management and was huge help getting the car running and tuned properly."
Along with the aforementioned stand-alone, the engine has 42 lb injectors, a Schimmel fuel rail and Bosch CIS high-pressure fuel pump. Spent fuel exits via a polished header and Techtonics 2.5" exhaust, with a downturned tip to maintain the smooth theme.
Power output is a substantial: 353whp and 287wtq at 15psi, which is very healthy for a supercharged VR6 12v. "I was really surprised with the numbers from the setup, and with how well it transforms the power from mild to vicious, all the way to 7000rpm," Stephen enthused.
All that power is put to the ground by a Southbend Stage 3 clutch, through an upgraded 02A five-speed transmission with a Peloquin differential and a TDI fifth gear.
Speaking of the ground, Stephen's SLC sits a few inches lower thanks to a set of KW V2 coilovers, augmented by Autotech strut braces. It's a perfect look, not too low, sitting over classic 16x7.5" Borbet Type A wheels with 195/40 Toyo T1R tires. The fenders were rolled to accommodate 5mm H&R spacers to get the perfect offset.
With the exterior finished, engine and bay sorted, wheels and suspension fitted, Stephen finally turned to the interior. "After the engine was completed, I searched for the correct interior combination; something with style and elegance," he said. "I teamed up with a fellow Corrado owner, Joe Bukrey from TeamSkins Upholstery, to brainstorm ideas. But it wasn't until I read an article on the Bentley Continental GT Speed that I got the inspiration."
Like the rest of the car, the interior was done properly. Both the headrests and side bolsters were reshaped and wrapped in black leather, while double-stitched diamond-accented suede covered the seat centers and door panels. The knee bars and headliner also received suede, while the sunvisors were deleted and the recesses filled for a clean appearance.
Final interior touches were from the Momo catalog, including a Millennium steering wheel, Cobra shift knob, Pitstop e-brake handle and OEM Audi TT pedals, plus a B4 Passat moonroof.
The stereo was similarly handled; quality parts but not too intrusive. An Alpine head unit feeds an Orion amp, which powers the Adire Koda components in the doors.
And now the car is complete, does Stephen have any misgivings about taking a stock Corrado from the world? "I kept the transformation fairly reversible but I'm not going to lie, I had some thoughts that would have transformed the body. I don't think I could ever go through with them, though, because the Corrado is so sleek and timeless. It's a truly brilliant automobile."
Although it'd be easy to chalk this up to yet another Corrado meeting its inevitable fate at the hands of an enthusiast, it's pretty clear Stephen's SLC was lucky to have been preserved for just the right owner to come along who, by the way, has no plans of selling it. And besides, where's the fun in leaving a car stock?
'93 VW Corrado SLC
Owner: Stephen Mondry
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Occupation: network administrator
Engine: 2.8-liter VR6 12v with 83mm JE forged pistons, 9:1 compression, ARP head studs, rod and main bolts, ported and polished head with +2mm intake and +1.8mm exhaust Supertech valves, Autotech valve springs, steel valve guides, Cat 256° cams, Megasquirt V3 stand-alone engine management, Ford EDIS ignition, Bosch CIS inline fuel pump, larger Bosch 42 lb injectors, Aeromotive FPR with gauge, Innovate Wideband controller, Vortech V2 SI supercharger with 15psi pulley, custom chargecooler, Afco heat exchanger, Jabsco Waterpuppy pump, TiAL 50mm BOV, Schimmel Performance short-runner intake manifold and fuel rail, phenolic intake spacer, K&N intake, Techtonics 2.5" stainless steel exhaust with Borla muffler, Setrab oil cooler, aluminum water pipe, BFI Delrin mounts, Optima Red Top battery relocated to trunk
Drivetrain: 02A five-speed manual transmission with Autotech 10 lb flywheel, Southbend stage 3 clutch, Peloquin limited-slip differential, TDI fifth gear set, BFI poly mount, Dieselgeek short shifter
Brakes: 11.3" Driver's Edition front calipers, Mk4 aluminum rears with Brembo cross-drilled rotors all round, braided lines, Hawk HPS pads, ABS deleted
Suspension: KW Variant 2 coilovers, Autotech stress bars, Prothane poly bushings
Wheels & Tires: 16x7.5" Borbet Type A wheels with flat caps, 5mm H&R spacers all round, 195/40 R16 Toyo T1R tires
Exterior: shaved side markers, side moldings, front and rear wipers, hatch panel, rear badges and exhaust cutout, rolled fenders, color-matched FK badgeless grille, B3 keyless handles, JSP carbon hood, Aerocatch hood pins and Mk5 antenna, 90mm European VW chin spoiler, French-spec VR6 fog- and headlights, tinted OEM tail lights, shaved engine bay with wire tuck
Interior: seats and door cards retrimmed in leather and suede with diamond-stitching, black suede headliner with shaved sunvisors, rear seat removed, replaced with false floor, red LED interior lighting, VDO boost gauge, Momo Millennium steering wheel, Cobra shift knob, Pitstop e-brake handle and boot, OEM Audi TT pedals, aluminum door pins, B4 VW Passat moonroof, stainless steel gauge- and HVAC rings, polished door pulls, DDI polished door sills, OEM European seatbelts, VW Mk3 keyless entry system
Thanks: Ryanne, family and friends, Joe & Stephanie Zeeuw