When you think of Volkswagen AG and Pikes Peak, your mind flashes to wicked winged Audi Quattro S1 coupes screaming their way up the top of the 8400-foot mountain. Iconic, certainly, but the Quattros weren’t the only factory-backed VW product to compete at the Colorado hillclimb. In 1987, Volkswagen Motorsport fabricated a rally weapon of its own just for the Pikes Peak event.
Although it looked like any other Mark II Golf from afar, it bore virtually no mechanical relationship to the road car. In addition to an aluminum-intensive body structure, the Pikes Peak golf boasted not one but two 1.8-liter, 16-valve I-4s, each of which was fitted with both a supercharger and a turbocharger. The result? A hairy, 652-hp, all-wheel-drive monster – or, in other words, the ideal speed machine for setting a new course record. Sadly, it failed to do so, as a transmission failure near the finish line resulted in a DNF.