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Thu May 11, 2006
16:20
The VW Rabbit (or Mk1 Golf in all other parts of the world) is one of my favorite cars of all time. No, I'm not kidding. Okay, the Rabbit GTI that VW *eventually* sold in the United States (1983 and 1984 were the only model years that the Rabbit GTI was available in the US - in 1985, they changed platforms and rebadged the car as a Golf) was very watered down. The original VW GTI (1976, I believe) was only available in europe and cranked out a screaming 110 horsepower from a flat-head 1.6 liter engine. The 1.8 that came from the factory in all US spec Rabbit GTIs was so de-tuned that it produced only 90 horsepower. The Rabbit was a very small and light-weight car and had a super-close-ratio transmission... so even with only 90hp, it was a quick car (0-50 in 7.2 seconds). Imagine that same car with an extra 20 horsepower (that's a 22% increase!), and it doesn't take long to realize that would have been a stunningly quick little car, indeed. VW has a history of offering softened versions of their european models to the U.S., and it's really too bad. As generations went by, the cars got softer and heavier (much to the dismay of the enthusiasts).

The original Rabbit (1975-1984) is now a popular platform for hot motor swaps, and it's not uncommon to go to a show and see one of these slim, trim 1900 pound bunnies sporting a suped up late model VW or Audi motor (20v turbos and the narrow angle VR6 being the most common). The last Waterfest show I went to, I saw a Rabbit run the quarter mile in 11.3 seconds. That's some pretty serious performance.

The Rabbit is a favorite of mine partially because of what it is (a german engineered, economical, inexpensive, fun car that is cheap to own and maintain) but also because of what it has the potential to be. Now fast forward to current times, we have the 2007 model year cars starting to hit dealerships and what do we see from Volkswagen of Ameria? Why, we have the 2007 Rabbit! Yes, that's right - the Rabbit is back for the 2007 model year. As with the first generation, it is still called the Golf in europe. The new Jettas have been out for a while - they are VWs new platform, named the A5. The Golfs built on this platform have been out in europe for a while now, and have received rave reviews from performance enthusiasts. The GTI version sports a hot 16 valve turbo with 6 speed transmission, and the A5 chassis is by far the most rigid of any Volkswagen to date. It's clear that VW has decided to get back in touch with the roots of it's watercooled heritage (meaning, the Rabbits, Sciroccos, Dashers, and MK1 Jettas), and they're trying to push this concept even further by appealing to people's fond memories of the old Volkswagen Rabbit. In my opinion, it appears that they have the goods to back this up. The A5 Rabbit is touted as being a firm, taut, spirited, and economical car - just like the original A1 Rabbit.

The Rabbit then:
orignal VW Rabbit

The Rabbit now:
2007 VW Rabbit


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Date: 08/05/06, 22:09:43 PDT
From: Rob
Comments: Was looking for a new cars today and I gave the '07 Rabbit a test drive. I really loved the feel, the manual transmission was very smooth and powerful. I also checked out an '06 Corolla and several other models, but I keep thinking about the Rabbit. I want it!!!! However, I'm very weary about picking up a VW after reviewing the consumer reports. The perpetual electrical issues that seem to affect many VW models year after year are disappointing. Extremely disappointing and the last thing I want to deal with after dealing with my electrically challenged Audi in the 1990s.

Date: 05/30/08, 12:19:01 PDT
From: Jason
Comments: I prefer the original Rabbit. If you've ever driven one, you know why...
A1 parts for sale:
intake air preheater hose
Item: Intake air pre-heat hose (from exhaust manifold shroud to air box), for Scirocco 2 (1982+)
Condition: New
$12


A2 parts for sale:
A2 GTI dual round grill, with inner lights
Item: GTI dual-round grille with inner lights, bulbs, and lower trim strip
Condition: Used, lower trim strip is weathered.
$35

parcel shelf strap
Item: Parcel shelf strap, 3 available
Condition: New
$3.50 ea.

A2 valve guides, 8 valve
Item: 8 (eight) valve guides, German, standard size, for 8 valve head
Condition: New
$24

wheel cylinder
Item: Wheel cylinder (for rear drums, obviously), 2 available.
Condition: New
$12 ea.


A3 parts for sale:
parcel shelf strap
Item: Parcel shelf strap, 3 available
Condition: New
$3.50 ea.


A4 parts for sale:
ALH water pump
Item: OEM Water pump, ALH engines
Condition: Used, 130,000 miles
$20