One of the greatest, supercharged, engines ever made: the g60.

"Winding road": - g60, into the top 10 of the supercharged engines of all eras.

"The G-shaped turbocharger enabled the 1.8-liter to generate 160 horsepower and 165 lb-ft. of torque. Linked to a five-speed manual transmission, the four-banger propelled the GTI G60 from zero 62 mph from a stop in 8.3 seconds – 0.7 seconds faster than a stock 16-valve mk2 GTI – and on to a top speed of 134 mph."

(An  ascertainment from  the U.S.A. for a foreign car).

Although g60, in its operation, is not as smooth as is its successor VR6, or its contemporary t3's 4 cylinder boxer, although it is not the most powerful engine ever built, it is far ahead from them in terms of durability, maturity and the easiness of a cheap upgrade. 

Compared to VR6 is lighter and less fuel thirsty, (for the same horsepower), and compared to another of its successors, the notorious turbo 1.8 l, is faster, (for the same horsepower, due to the difference in the way of the performance between the  turbo and the supercharger), and with much better peripherals, f. ex. the water pump.

The above is for those who cannot understand how it is possible  for the g60 to be faster than the 1.8t, with the same power. (In reality, even with less power).

1.8t: the water pump with a destroyed, plastic, impeller.


The substance is not the only problem here. The drive is from the camshaft's belt and is not the optimum.


"i am in a pickle--i have a 2000 VW golf 1.8 turbo. i was driving home at about 40-45 mph and my water pump exploded, and then broke my timing belt, and now we are wondering if my valves are bent..."

Here you can see g60's water pump. It is a separate, heavy duty unit, with a dedicated belt drive, and a cast iron impeller immune to the overheating .

The only problem is that VW's marketing department, of the era, "forgot" to say that g-lader needs maintenance. And when it is maintained properly, lasts more than a turbo unit and has a cheaper service.

But there are more about VW's incomprehensible attitude when debuted the g60 back at 80's, making the g60 one of the best but most misunderstood engines...

Here you can see, (and hear), how a new, (rebuild), g60 works, (at: 01:35).

Here without the g-lader, (1.8l, 8v, naturally aspirated):

and here how it starts and works after 25 years of usage, absolutely without repairs, (but with a new g-lader), at 275.000 km..(21/January/17: 288.000 km., still going strong without any repair).

03/June/2017 Update

Because someone may say that it is self-evident for an engine to sound like this, (even after 300.000 km. and 25 years of use, without repairs), please consider g60's successor and how it sounds after 30 years of progress.

 Here is how,  the last TSI 1.8t generation, sounds, (with 30 years of progress and some use) :

But wait!

This is a 2015 engine, it may has a problem.

Lets consider a 2017 brand new engine from a review, (with 30 years of progress and zero use).

 Please go at: 11:48

 End of the 03/June/2017 Update----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Always stronger vs the 1.8t, for the same horse power:

Vs VR6 

Vs 1.8t

210 hp (g60)  vs (heavier) 230 hp (E30)

The Diesel deception.
(Just a first glance from the g60's point of view).
Nobody can imagine that a petrol  engine with a supercharger, (160 hp), may consume, under circumstances, less fuel, (up to 50%), than a 1.4l diesel, (47 hp), of the same era, of course!

And all these when the petrol car with the  g60 is 200 kgr. heavier!

Research paper is coming, stay tuned! 


50% less?   No! Wrong! It is 78% less!
200  kgr. heavier? No! It is 550 kgr. heavier! 

Research  paper.

 Martin Treiber (corresponding author)
Institute for Transport & Economics
Technische Universität Dresden

Arne Kesting
Institute for Transport & Economics
Technische Universität Dresden

Christian Thiemann
Institute for Transport & Economics
Technische Universität Dresden


"How Much does Traffic Congestion Increase Fuel Consumption and Emissions?
 Applying a Fuel Consumption Model to the NGSIM Trajectory Data"

This is a paper having the above central idea. And there is nothing special with this, it is a matter  of the routine operation of an academic institution.

But there is something really strange. To make the necessary measurements,  two conventional cars are employed. One compact, diesel, car, a Polo 1.4, (a 1990 model), and a medium passenger car which is, no more no less, a Passat Syncro g60, (!), (of the same era).

The authors of the paper, consider the Passat as a conventional car, proper for representative measurements, although it is 4wd, using an engine with an unique supercharger, old and very rare!

Of course, it couldn't be better for the goals of the present page, so let's see, not the total paper, which has an absolutely different reason for it's creation, but the very interesting comparative data about the fuel consumption  of the two cars used, the one compact, 2wd and diesel, and the other, medium, 4wd and petrol.

The authors of the paper give us the specifications of the two, (probably as they tested):

Parameter                                                       VW Passat Syncro Petrol        VW Polo Diesel
Effective cylinder volume C cyl                                        1.8l                                      1.4l
Basic power consumption P 0                                        3kW                                    2kW
Vehicle mass m                                                           1600kg                                1050kg
Friction coefficient µ 0                                                   0.015                                   0.015
Friction coefficient µ 1                                               0.0003s/m                          0.0003s/m
Cross-sectional area A                                                 2.03m 2                              1.70m 2
Air-drag coefficient (cd-value) c w                                   0.32                                   0.36

Table 1: Car data for typical passenger cars like a VW Passat and a VW Polo.

Important points:

1)Passat has more cubic inches.
2)Passat has supercharger.
3)Passat is 550 kgr. heavier.
4)Passat has a wider cross-sectional area.
5)Passat is 4wd and Polo 2wd.
6)Passat has better aerodynamics.
7)Passat uses petrol as fuel and Polo diesel.

Strategic assumption: the car is going to be used for medium and long distance traveling.

If the criterion is the best possible fuel economy, someone has to choose the compact, diesel, car. Right?


As we can see in the above diagrams, traveling with a speed of 130-140 km/h, (of course 140 km/h is the limit for the little, diesel, engine but not for the traveler),  the diesel, compact, 2wd, car uses two to five times more fuel than the bigger, heavier, 4wd, petrol g60! Or, the Passat g60 is up to78% more fuel efficient , (in terms of quantity), than the Polo!


SAE paper, the g-lader 

 Now I can see why in my 1992 Passat, not used for races, but for spirited driving, lasted for 250.000 km. without any service, more than any other compressor or turbo, as far as I know. 

For example:


Rotrex Superchargers:

" When used within specifications the Rotrex supercharger does not wear due to the traction design that has no metal to metal contact. The life span of a Rotrex supercharger is more than 100.000 km assuming operating conditions are within specifications and recommended oil change frequencies are followed".


The engine oil is highly stressed circulating through them.

Bearing failings, case crackings, (especially when a 4x4 vehicle is passing through water),  and all these may start as low as 50.000 km.!

the g-lader

The third generation g-lader, with the wider 11 m.m. small belt, seems to be bulletproof.
(Starting from new, it needs a service every ~100.000 km).

But there are coming and the newer generations, (not by vw), g65, g70 e.t.c.. Who knows...


Seven years of use, 43.000 k.m. with the wider 11 m.m. small belt, Gates, powergrip.

The belt is extracted for inspection/change.

There are no signs of wear/damage. It seems that changing it now, to be on the safe side, is not necessary.

It seems that a change   at the belts service, at a 80.000 k.m. -100.000 k.m. interval, could be rational. 

Any way, the change is done. But the screams, of the past, about its fragility, seems to be no sense, as well as, the direction to change it every year (!).
( This observation is not for the tiny, original, 6 m.m. belt, though).

The Syncro Heresy