Scirocco Rocs Geneva

By Blake Muntzinger

03.05.2008

As we previewed last week, the wait is over – for Europe, at least, as Volkswagen revealed its Scirocco in Geneva. History has come full circle; 34 years ago, Geneva hosted the original Scirocco’s debut. The production version stays true to the IROC concept, especially in the front, and is the first vehicle to reflect V-dub’s new design language.

A hidden B-pillar elongates the four-seater’s look, continuing rearward to the wagon-like rear quarter. Such a design swallows 292 liters (10.3 cubic feet) of storage in the trunk when rear seats are up and 755 liters (27.0 cubic feet) of storage when folded down; however, loading may be cumbersome since the point-of-entry is slightly high. The Scirocco’s sculpted rear fenders gracefully continue into the rear hatch. Its tail end appears wider than it really is due to the car’s low profile.

However, VW could have designed the interior to better reflect the Scirocco’s heritage. Instead, many of its elements can also be found in a Golf or Jetta – cutting costs, yes, but thankfully fit and finish appears to deliver what has come to be expected from Volkswagen. Overhead, a panoramic glass sunroof with sunscreen reflects 99 percent of UV radiation, 97 percent of infrared heat, and 80 percent of visible sunlight.

Standard in the Scirocco are six airbags, speed-dependent power steering, ESP, brake assist, height-adjustable front bucket seats, and an MP3-capable CD player and changer. Music lovers may want the top-of-the-line audio system, which features a 30 gig hard drive and a 6.5 inch touchscreen.

Powering the Scirocco are three four-cylinder TSI gasoline engines, delivering either 122 hp (entry-level), 158 hp (supercharged turbo), and 197 hp (turbocharged). All Sciroccos have six speed transmissions, except for those with the new optional 7-speed transversely-mounted dual clutch transmission, which can be paired with the supercharged turbo. VW also offers a 138 horsepower TDI common-rail diesel.

All those combinations would just the right fit for the winding roads in California, long stretches of highway in Oklahoma, coastal drives in North Carolina; unfortunately, Volkswagen of America’s scepticism toward the Scirocco (as it’s not very different either appearance-wise or under the skin from a GTI) combined with the weak US dollar will probably keep this newest version of the Scirocco away from the US this time around.

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Author: Chris Haak

Chris is Autosavant's Managing Editor. He has a lifelong love of everything automotive, having grown up as the son of a car dealer. A married father of two sons, Chris is also in the process of indoctrinating them into the world of cars and trucks.

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5 Comments

  1. The interior is very GTI-looking to me (at least with my untrained eye, as I’m not a GTI or VW expert).

    It’s a good looking car; I like the new corporate face for VW, although the C-pillar styling appears to be very derivative of the Volvo C30.

  2. I hate to admit it, but the brass at VW are probably right to not sell it here in North America. I can’t see them moving a lot of those Sciroccos off the lots here. I love the way it looks, and I bet it will be a nice little sports coupe, but I can’t see too many Americans buying them.

  3. How about a special-order R36 Scirocco for the US, if nothing else? Just send over 3000 of the maybe and see how it goes.

  4. The 158hp engine is not the supercharged and turbocharged 1.4, but the only turbocharged 1.8.

  5. Mirko, our man on the ground in Geneva provided this information to us. Also, I was unable to find any press releases from VW that detailed the Scirocco’s engine lineup, so until we have that, we’re sticking with what he provided to us.

    -Editor

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