Editors Note: The new Scirocco is *NOT* going to be sold in the U.S. at this time. VWoA feels the new Scirocco is too similar to the GTI in form and doesn't make sense to bring over. While we think the new Scirocco looks better than the IROC concept, it still isn't what a proper Scirocco should look like. Volkswagen had a beautiful opportunity to build a great looking coupe that would be unique in the lineup and instead has built a hotter GTI. As much as we like the way this thing looks on its own, we're disappointed the "new" Scirocco didn't turn out like it could have.
Avant garde design of the Scirocco
• A calling card of the ambitious global concept is the new sports car’s avant-garde design. The fact being that the lines of the Scirocco study presented in August 2006 have been transferred to the production car nearly unchanged. This includes the long wagon/coupé roof whose form here is unique, and which pays tribute to the C-pillar design of the first Scirocco, the car’s athletic side profile, its distinctive engine hood and the entire rear end with its extremely broad shoulder sections. Only the design of the radiator grille has been changed for a more stylish and timeless solution.
• With a length of 4.26 meters, the Scirocco is on par with the Golf. However, it is built significantly lower to the ground (1.40 meter) and is nearly as wide as the Passat (1.81 meter). Four adults can be seated with plenty of space inside. Once they are all aboard, the Scirocco provides 292 liters of cargo capacity; when the two seatbacks of the rear individual sport seats are folded down, capacity increases to a considerable 755 liters. This contemporary Scirocco demonstrates unfettered everyday utility, and it can be clearly recommended as a sports car for every day of the year.
Avant-garde technology of the Scirocco
• Providing for ample power on the Scirocco – which comes with ESP and sport chassis as standard equipment – are four TDI and TSI engines, all of them charged and therefore just as torque-strong as they are economical and low in emissions. The three TSIs (gasoline direct-injection) output 90 kW / 122 PS, 118 kW / 160 PS and 147 kW / 200 PS. The Scirocco’s common rail engine (TDI) develops a power of 103 kW / 140 PS.
• Further high-tech elements of the Scirocco: a 7-speed DSG and an “adaptive chassis control system”. Meanwhile, a large panorama vent sunroof – extending from the A pillars to the B pillars – provides for plenty of light in the interior. At the press of a button the transparent panorama roof is raised up to 39 millimeters. When the sun is too intense, a sunshade may be moved into place. But that is seldom likely to be necessary, since the glass of the panorama vent roof reflects 99 percent of UV radiation, 97 percent of infrared radiation (heat) and 80 percent of visible light.
• The new Scirocco is one of the most attractive sports cars in the world when it comes to pricing. Nonetheless, the standard equipment package is super. Always there, for example, are 17-inch alloy wheels, height adjustable driver and front passenger seats and steering wheel, leather parking brake grip, sport seats, split folding rear seats, power windows, air conditioning, ESP, braking assistant, six airbags, speed-dependent power steering, and of course a sport chassis.
Wolfsburg, Geneva, March 2008. The designers of the third generation of the Scirocco unmistakably designed it to be a pure sports car. Different than the original Scirocco of the 1970s, and the second generation introduced in the 1980s, the new car offers substantially greater interior space. That is because – in contrast to its two predecessors – the Scirocco of the year 2008 does not have a sloping hatchback, but a wagon back with matching long roof and steep tailgate. This offers two distinct advantages. First: the Scirocco exhibits very crisp proportions. Especially when viewed from the rear, it immediately becomes apparent that the 1.80 meter long roof with its lateral arrays of windows stands on very wide and powerful shoulder sections. So the Scirocco gets a waist that is flawlessly cut right from sports car principles. Second: The new model also has space in the rear for two adults plus sufficient luggage. All things considered, the progressively styled Scirocco combines a high level of everyday utility with a classy design.
DESIGN AND DIMENSIONS
The crisp dimensions of the new sports car also speak with a clear language. The Scirocco – with its short overhangs – exploits its wheelbase of 2,578 millimeters efficiently for maximum space. The Volkswagen is 1,400 millimeters tall, exactly 4,256 millimeters long and 1,810 millimeters wide.
The front end of the Scirocco displays a completely new Volkswagen design language. On the one hand, it preserves historical elements, while simultaneously taking a great leap forward. The radiator grille and bumper are characterized by a dynamic that is timeless and impressive. Technically, the front end concept also fulfills Volkswagen’s stringent requirements for pedestrian protection.
Stylistically, the upper area of the Scirocco’s front end is dominated primarily by horizontal lines. Spanning the area between the prominent dual headlamps is a very narrow air inlet in luxurious black. Beneath this is a very clearly designed area in car color. This narrow double band of the black radiator grille and bumper painted in car color, defined by sharp lines, will be used to identify other new models in the future.
In the lower section of the front end, the image is marked by a central air inlet in black with its diamond-shaped pattern, and to its left and right the integrated turn signal and fog lamps. Incidentally, besides the New Beetle, the Scirocco is the only other Volkswagen to sport the VW emblem, not on the radiator grille, but on the engine hood instead.
If you run your hand, first over one of the headlamps, then over the fender and a door, you will notice that the profile curves alternate in direction. Depending on the perspective and incident light, these transitions on the sides of the car give it the appearance of a moving muscle. The powerful image is reinforced by the standard 17-inch wheels, which – due to the large track width (front 1,569, rear 1,575 millimeters) – are practically flush with the body.
Furthermore, it is the hidden B-pillar, the line of windows that rises steeply toward the rear, and the conspicuously striking C-pillar that – together with the long roof line that appears to be endless – convey a very unique presence and dynamics. In the rear area, an integrated roof spoiler offers another plus in dynamics and additional downforce at the rear axle. Set in very clear counterpoint are the sculpturally shaped taillights that are also eye-catching and prominent from the side view.
The sculptural form of the wide taillights is most apparent when viewed from the rear. Here, the car’s character is defined by the ratio of proportions between the roof and shoulder section and thereby the car’s waist. It is sharply contoured, since the roof runs significantly narrower than the overall body. These stylistic traits produce a design typical of a very powerful and significantly more expensive sports car. In any case, the really wide track actually looks even wider than it is. From the rear, the C pillars cannot be made out, since the rear window extends across the entire vehicle width. The overall design of the rear end – broader, with heftier bumpers plus a wide wheel track, the roof line and roof spoiler, plus wide wrap-around rear window – all lend an exceptionally powerful image to this car.
Four sport seats
The Scirocco is a full-fledged four seater. Here, full-fledged means that two adults can be seated comfortably in the rear. Even when a 1.90 meters tall driver adjusts the seat, there is still plenty of knee room in the back. There is no sense of cramped space here. Also guaranteeing that everything is comfortable in this new sports car are the four sport seats. Similar to the new Passat CC, ideally-contoured ergonomic individual seats are used in the back of the Scirocco. Providing for a high level of safety are the headrests that are permanently mounted to the seatbacks in the rear.
The front sport seats include an Easy Entry feature for easier entry and exit of the rear passengers. Specifically, when the seatback of a front seat is unlatched, the seat moves forward; afterwards, it automatically returns to its preset position. Also standard: height adjustment of the front sport seats. By way of an option for the Scirocco, Volkswagen also offers a “Lifestyle seat upholstery and trim” with Alcantara appointments and the leather upholstery and trim “Vienna”, the latter in the colors “Titanium Black” or “Truffle”.
The cargo area shows good size too. Laid out like a station wagon, loaded up to the height of the cargo cover it offers a volume of 292 liters. If the seatbacks of the rear individual seats are folded down, a cargo area capacity of 755 liters is available. Even in this case, there is no problem loading the car up to the roofliner, since a cargo net can be integrated behind the front seats.
The driver and front passenger in the Scirocco experience a sporty and well-developed ergonomic environment. Pleasing to the touch and appealing to the eye are the complex designs of the interior door trim. Instruments and gages have also been laid out intuitively and clearly. In particular, the center console with its controls arranged at a high level exhibits a refreshingly clear layout. Arranged directly beneath the two center air vents is the selected audio system. The latest equipment generation is being implemented on the Scirocco (RCD 210 to RCD 510). Always there: a MP3-capable CD player and changer. In parallel, there will be two audio-navigation systems. The top model, designated the RNS 510, delivers refined features such as a 6.5-inch touchscreen and an extremely fast 30 gigabyte hard drive. The Scirocco also features a special instrument cluster with white illumination.
ENGINES AND TRANSMISSIONS
Volkswagen will be offering the Scirocco as the world’s first sports car whose engines are all charged. The three TSIs – gasoline direct-injection engines –output 90 kW / 122 PS, 118 kW / 160 PS and 147 kW / 200 PS. The TDI, a highly advanced common rail engine, develops 103 kW / 140 PS. All of the Sciroccos are shifted by a six-speed gearbox.
TSI with 122 PS
Maximum power with minimal consumption – within a very short period of time this property has made the TSI four cylinders synonymous with a new generation of the most fuel-efficient and at the same time sporty Volkswagen engines. Representing the entry level into the world of these multiple award winning engines is a 90 kW / 122 PS strong TSI (at 5,000 rpm). In the Scirocco, the four cylinder engine develops its maximum torque of 200 Newton-meter at a low 1,500 rpm – i.e. just above idling speed. The TSI takes the car to a top speed of 200 km/h. The 122 PS Scirocco handles the classic 0-100-km/h sprint in 9.7 seconds. Its average fuel consumption of 6.1 liters Super Unleaded per 100 kilometers makes it one of the most economical sports cars of its class. Important: even this entry-level engine breathes agility into the Scirocco in the lower speed range and turns country highways into a source of great enjoyment.
TSI with 160 PS
This is the latest TSI: a four cylinder, turbo- and supercharged, with 118 kW / 160 PS (at 5,900 rpm). Like all of the TSIs, this engine is exceptionally economical (average fuel consumption: 6.5 l/100 km) and torque-strong (maximum of 240 Newton-meter at just 1,750 rpm) too. This TSI takes the Scirocco from rest to 100 km/h in 8.0 seconds; its top speed is 217 km/h. As an option, the 160 PS TSI may be paired with the first 7-speed dual clutch transmission (DSG) in the world that is transverse mounted.
TSI with 200 PS
At the highest power level, the Scirocco comes with a powerful 147 kW / 200 PS (at 6,000 rpm) TSI. It too has a turbocharger, and it also shines with very good torque and fuel economy. Per 100 kilometers this 280 Newton-meter (from 1,700 rpm) strong four cylinder consumes just 7.6 liters of fuel. Yet it can still deliver a top speed of 235 km/h. The highest performing Scirocco of all times completes the sprint to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds. As on the Golf GTI with an identical engine, for example, this engine can be ordered with an innovative 6-speed dual clutch transmission on the Scirocco too.
TDI with 140 PS
At its market launch in Europe, the Scirocco will already be available with a clean and torque-strong 140 PS TDI (103 kW at 4,200 rpm). This highly advanced common rail diesel is especially quiet. It develops its maximum torque of 320 Newton-meters starting at just 1,750 rpm. The Scirocco completes the 0-100-km/h sprint in just 9.3 seconds with this TDI. Its top speed of 207 km/h contrasts with an average fuel consumption of just 5.4 liters per 100 kilometers. Volkswagen offers an optional 6-speed DSG with this engine too.
ADAPTIVE CHASSIS CONTROL
Perfectly tailored to a sports car like the new Scirocco is the newly developed “adaptive chassis control”. It exercises direct control, not only over the suspension characteristic, but also over tuning of the electro-mechanical power steering.
“Adaptive chassis control” offers three programs: “Normal”, “Sport” and “Comfort”. “Sport” and “Comfort” are each selected by a button in front of the gearshift lever. It is important to note here that “adaptive chassis control” improves the driving properties of the Scirocco in “Normal” mode too – that is, all the time. That is because the suspension is continually being adapted to the roadway and driving situation. The system also reacts to acceleration, braking and steering inputs. This resolves the conflict in goals between a stiff sporty suspension and a comfortable one. That is precisely what makes for considerably better ride comfort – which is also quite noticeable in the “Normal” mode.
The “Sport” program can be recommended as a type of “Nuremburg Ring–North Loop” race track mode. In this case, the suspension is significantly stiffer. In parallel, the power-assist for steering is reduced for more direct steering response. The opposite is done in “Comfort” mode. In this case, ride comfort is especially improved on poor roadways and while driving slowly.
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