The ZONKER is a 16v GTI prototype from VW Sport. The big difference is that it features All Wheel Drive and an ABS brake system. It was an evaluation vehicle for things to come from VW. It is a one-off, Ferrari yellow, concept vehicle based on a 16v GTI. This unique concept car was the forerunner to the Rallye Golfs.
Nicknamed Zonker, the two door GTI was built by itself on the assembly line at Volkswagen AG's, advanced Halle 54, production facility in Wolfsburg. Unlike standard U.S. GTI’s , the Zonker is equipped with VW’s permanent four-wheel drive viscous system and VW's Teves anti-lock braking system.
After assembly, the Zonker was sent to Volkswagen Motorsports’ facility in Hanover, Germany, where it was fitted a high performance, 16-valve engine, complete with U.S. emission including catalytic converter, and a close ratio, five-speed gearbox. VW didn’t stop there. Shortly after the car’s arrival to the states it was taken to Callaway Cars of Old Lyme, Connecticut. There a Garret turbo charger and custom intercooler were added. The 16-valve engine, now developing about 219hp, and Syncro 4WD combination made the Zonker the only vehicle of its kind in the world. I have obtained the documents from Callaway presented to VW Sport on the 16v Turbo DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM, 16v Turbo DESIGN PHILOSOPHY, and THE DYNO APPROACH. These documents have a great insight into the development of the Zonker.
In addition to the installation of the engine and transaxle, VW Motorsports also revised the spring rate and re-valved the struts to lower the vehicle’s ride height by about 1 ½ inches. The Zonker also has and a BBS front spoiler, rocker panel extensions and a new rear apron. European bumpers and mirror housings have been painted to match the body color. The European grill with GTI & round out the list of exterior changes.
Inside, the one-off GTI shows a 220-kmh and. The Recaro seats are custom leather with adjustable thigh bolsters. Leather is also found on the and headrests, door panels, and Power windows and central locking system are also standard features.