1987 MODEL YEAR OVERVIEW
Seven models of the Vanagon were built for the United States market for model year 1987. These were:
Compared to the 1986 model line-up VW dropped the basic Vanagon L for the 1987, but added another Wolfsburg Limited Edition passenger van to the lineup.
Eight paint colors were available for the full-year models:
Pastel White, Mocca Brown, Savannah Beige Metallic, Marine Blue, Flash Silver Metallic, Dove Blue Metallic, Titian Red Metallic, and Wolfram Grey Metallic.
Not all colors available on all models.
Volkswagen sold 10,336 Vanagons in the USA in model year 1987
(According to CarSalesBase.com)
Notable 1987 features:
There are no exterior features to distinguish the 1987 vans from the 1986 model year. The 1987 has carryover features from 1986 including:
- 2.1 liter Engine with Digifant fuel injection, compared to the 1.9 liter Digijet
fuel injected engine in the 1983.5 - 1985 vans
- Rectangular primary headlights, separate square high beam lights (1986 - 1991)
- 2 Black plastic front grilles (1983.5 - 1991)
- Chrome bumpers
- "Volkswagen" emblem with VW logo on the left side of the rear hatch
- Syncro all-wheel drive models available for the second year
Distinguishing changes from 1986 include:
- Turning radius with power steering reduced from 37.1' to 35.8'
- Front seat armrests now feature variable height adjustment
The 1987 six-seater Campers (2WD and Syncro) are described in the brochure with the word "base" to distinguish it from the four-seater Camper GL, which also included a kitchen. Although not described in the brochure as a Wolfsburg Edition, these models included the Wolfsburg emblems. Unlike other Wolfsburg Limited Editions which become available mid-year, the 1987 Wolfsburg Camper was available form the beginning of the model year and was very much like the 1986 edition which preceded it. Owners often refer to these six-seater Campers with the nickname "Weekenders".
The 1987-1/2 GL Wolfsburg Limited Edition (WLE) was the first Vanagon model in the USA with the aero-styled urethane covered bumpers. These bumpers are metallic grey and there are no matching rocker panels between the wheels on the sides of the van. This model also has body colored rear view mirrors and a new ride height lowered by 1.2". Paint color choices for the 1987 WLE were: Wolfram Grey Metallic and Vesuve Grey Metallic.
Volkswagen dropped the "all-wheel drive" description used for Syncro in the 1986 brochure in favor of call it four-wheel drive. Instead of simply using the term Syncro, VW switched to using "Syncro 4WD" through the 1991 model year.
1987 Visual Cues:
The quick and obvious way to distinguish 1986 & later Vanagons from 1985 & earlier models is that beginning in 1986 VW used a pair of rectangular headlights on each side of the upper grille. These replaced the single round headlights used in previous years.
1987 vans kept the upper grille at the front of the van for interior ventilation with a second, lower grille that provided cooling air for the front-mounted radiator. This two-grille look distinguishes all of the water-cooled Vanagons from the older 1980 - 1983 air cooled models.
Like other 1984 to 1987 models, the emblem on left side of the hatch included a VW logo followed by the word Volkswagen
As with all Vanagons beginning in 1982 through 1991, the 1987 models had removable black plastic cooling air intake grilles on each side of the van, behind the rear-most windows.
1987 Brochure Gallery (Click any page to open)
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