1. 1990 Volkwagen Golf Limited
You’ll be doing well to remember this, because it was made in tiny (double digit) numbers and never sold over here. But it’s the most extraordinary example of the Q-car art ever seen. When you looked at it, you saw an every day, ho-hum run-of-the-mill Golf. It didn’t even have the sporty three door body shell, but the five door configuration for those more concerned with carrying children than driving fast. There were no aerodynamic add ons save the tiny lip spoiler already seen on the standard GTI. But unlike the GTI which could always be easily told from lesser Golfs by its four headlight grille, the Limited had just two. Which is why it looked more like a base spec, 54bhp Golf than a GTI.
But while a Golf GTI offered 112bhp, the Limited did a little better than that. Using a 16-valve head and a supercharger, it not only had 210bhp – more than an original Sierra Cosworth, an E30 BMW M3 or a Lancia Integrale 16V – it also distributed it to all four wheels via VW’s syncro transmission. When it came out in 1990, point to point on difficult roads in bad weather, it was possibly the fastest car in the world.