It’s been more than 40 years since the first Volkswagen Scirocco sports coupe made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show, writes Ian Strachan.
The iconic Scirocco has been back with us for five years or more now. It still has the same wedge shape, sprightly performance, two doors, four seats and front wheel drive, but it’s had a makeover. The latest Scirocco has new lights and bumpers, an updated interior and higher specification.
Sitting on the Golf floorpan, the similarity ends there. This car is technically advanced, dynamic and fuel-efficient.
My test car was powered by a pleasant 1.4 litre, 125 bhp engine, and has handling that feels as if the wheels could never leave the ground however hard you tried. The engine is linked to a slick six-speed gearbox which means you can get more than 52 miles to the gallon despite the car’s sparkling performance.
To look at, the Scirocco is still as strongly designed as it ever was. It has the shark-like wedged lines of the original Scirocco, but its lower suspension, big wheels with smart 17 inch alloys, and wide back end tell you that this Volkswagen means business.
The inside is again similar in layout to a Golf, but with a simpler layout and sporty trim about the place to emphasise its performance pedigree. High, supportive seats are supremely comfortable. The small, three-spoke steering wheel is sculpted to allow a good grip.
The 1.4 litre 16 valve engine is turbo-charged and can power you from 0-60 in about nine seconds, with a top speed of 126 mph. But it still performs economically..
Handling is extremely sports car-like, thanks to stiffened suspension and nicely-rated electro-mechanical power steering which varies the steering assistance depending on speed. Steering is always solid and predictable, with good feedback through the steering wheel.
Standard equipment on the Scirocco is impressive and includes all-round airbags, remote central locking with alarm and immobiliser, air conditioning, touchscreen DAB radio with a six-CD autochanger, USB connectors, Bluetooth and iPod connection, 50/50 split rear seat, automatic lights and rain sensing wipers, automatic stop/start, electric windows and mirrors and multi-function leather steering wheel. There’s not much else you’d want on this car, but front fog lights (£245) and rear tinted glass (£215) are available as options.
The six speed manual Scirocco 1.4 TSI comes in at £20,735 on the road, which isn’t cheap for a car of this size, but you are buying into a legend and resale values are good.
Volkswagen has done it again. The company has put the Scirocco badge on a car that truly deserves it.