Charismatic coupés have been an important part of the Volkswagen model range for decades. The first Volkswagen coupé was the Karmann Ghia which was introduced in 1955 – a style icon that evolved with the times until the end of its production in 1974. The Karmann Ghia was succeeded by the Scirocco which was launched in the same year.
Two generations of the Scirocco were built in a space of 18 years between 1974 and 1992 with production totalling 795 734 units. The third generation Scirocco was launched in 2008 (2009 in South Africa. By the end of 2013 over 212 450 Sciroccos had been produced at the Volkswagen factory in Palmela, Portugal.
In 2015, Volkswagen is presenting the new Scirocco which has been refreshed with new exterior and interior designs. Externally, the new Scirocco’s shape has been refined and modernised with new headlights and tail lights, as well as revised bumper styling. The revised front bumper features aerodynamic ‘blades’ in the outer section, like those on the latest-generation Golf GTI, with integrated indicator lights, daytime running lights and fog lights. On models with (optional – standard in Scirocco R) bi-xenon headlights, the daytime running lights are LEDs within the main headlights.
The LED tail lights are a standard feature across the range. The bumper has been reshaped to appear lower and more purposeful. As on new Golf, the Volkswagen logo badge now has an additional purpose: functioning as the tailgate release handle.
The range-topping Scirocco R has a distinct look, with bespoke bumpers and alloy wheels. It now comes with 19-inch ‘Cadiz’ alloy wheels. The rest of the range with the exception of 1.4 TSI 118kW also benefits from the new alloy wheel designs.
The engine line-up remains unchanged. The new Scirocco is offered with the choice of three TSI engines, namely 1.4 TSI 118kW, 2.0 TSI 155kW and 2.0 TSI 188kW. (Scirocco R). The 1.4 TSI is available with 6-speed manual transmission whilst the 2.0 TSI engines come standard with 6-speed DSG transmission.
Inside, the dashboard has been updated, with new-look dials and an auxiliary instrument cluster above the centre console, consisting of a chronometer and charge pressure and oil temperature gauges – a tribute to the 1974 model.
Exterior and interior designs
The design forms the visual basis for the overall sporty Scirocco package. Like the first generation Scirocco, the new sports car is regarded as a stylistic icon. The design of this icon has been further sharpened to enhance its unmistakable silhouette, the characteristic rear and an impressive front end.
New front section. Precisely drawn lines, a new light signature by the headlights and aerodynamic “blades” (narrow aerodynamic elements in the style of the new Golf GTI) in the side of the bumper combine to give the front section a new look. The new Scirocco also appears to be more contoured and wider with bumper surfaces painted in the body colour instead of black. The narrow “blades” and a black, open-topped frame in the bumper form a striking contrast with light paintwork colours. The large cooling air inlet in the lower area of the front section and the upper air inlet have been redesigned and are now in black. Interestingly, together with the study concept XL1 and the Beetle, the Scirocco is also the only Volkswagen to feature the VW logo on the bonnet rather than in the grille.
New headlights. Striking light design is synonymous with all Volkswagen models. And the light fingerprint of the Scirocco is no exception, particularly on derivatives where the new optional bi-xenon headlights with dynamic cornering light are fitted. The engineers and designers have integrated a narrow, convex LED contour underneath the xenon module which looks like an eyelid and functions as daytime running lights. The indicators are placed separately in the outer regions of the bumper with fog lights and daytime running lights. They are visually separated by the “blades”. Together with the body-coloured trim for the lower cooling air inlet, the result further accentuates the width of the car. The new design gives the Scirocco an even lower road stance.
New rear section. The Volkswagen brand’s design DNA dictates that the width of the vehicle in the front and rear areas is accentuated with horizontal design features. The new Scirocco reinforces this feature with an entirely new design of the LED rear lights as well as a new tailgate. The trapezoidal contoured rear lights taper towards the centre of the vehicle, and with its C-shaped light contour now extend further into the tailgate. This section is equipped with a horizontal light-refracting edge underneath the window. A new black diffuser matches this powerful and precise design, making the bumper appear to sit lower and the car as a whole seem flatter in its proportions. The VW badge now swings upwards around the central axis when pressure is placed on it in order to serve as a handle for opening the boot lid. Like the rear lights, the number plate lighting also features LED technology as standard.
New wheels and colours. The entry level Scirocco (1.4 TSI 118kW Highline) is equipped with 17-inch Long Beach alloy wheels whilst the 2.0 TSI 155kW Sportline is fitted with new 18-inch Lisboa alloy wheels. The Scirocco R comes standard with 19-inch Cadiz alloy wheels. The optional R-Line package is offered with 18-inch Salvador alloy wheels. The 2.0 TSI 155kW Sportline and 188kW Scirocco R can also be ordered with the optional 19-inch Lugano alloy wheels.
Five of the 13 exterior colours are new in the range. The new colours are Flash Red, Black Oak, Oryx White, Ultra Violet and Pyramid Gold.
Exterior features of the Scirocco R. Distinctive independent design and exclusive equipment features have characterised the top model in the series, the Scirocco R. This is clearly visible on design of the front and rear sections. The three large glossy black air inlets, the standard bi-xenon headlights with integrated cornering light, the LED daytime running lights and the LED indicators attract attention at the front.
Side features include door mirror housings in “matt chrome”, side sill extensions with “R” styling and 17-inch brake callipers painted black with an “R” logo. At the rear, the chrome-plated tailpipes (on the left and right respectively) and the larger roof edge spoiler are still the key insignia of the “R”.
The interior of the new Scirocco has also undergone further development in many areas. For example, the striking feature is the optimised instrument panel design on the passenger side which gives the dashboard a streamlined appearance with a striking horizontal edge. The air nozzle panels and the central panel around the Radio/CD system in “Titanium Silver” are now flush-mounted in the dashboard, accentuating the excellent workmanship and the premium quality of the interior. Like models such as the Golf GTI, the Scirocco is now also equipped with a new tubular-look instrument cluster; the instruments feature new graphics and are elegantly framed with an aluminium look (“Titanium Silver”). The steering wheel design was also derived from the new Golf GTI. To pay homage to the first generation model, the new Scirocco has three auxiliary instruments integrated above the centre console. The instrument shows charge pressure, chronometer and engine oil temperature.
Sporty decor, materials and colours. There is now a storage compartment close to the handbrake lever which can be closed using a “sliding cover”. The seats have been redesigned with new materials. The standard Vienna leather trim can be ordered in different colour variants such Ceramique, Sioux” and Black in Carbon Style. Also new is the light interior trim Ceramique for the lower sections of the dashboard, door panels and the centre console which is offered in addition to Black.
Standard interior and functional equipment features. Other standard features of the new Scirocco include decorative inlays in “Titanium Silver” for the dashboard, electrically adjustable driver seat (manual in 1.4 TSI), electrically adjustable lumbar support in front seats, sport seats, sport steering wheel, hand-brake lever grip and gear shift grip in leather, an asymmetrically divided folding rear seat backrest and Easy Entry system.
Functional standard equipment include fatigue detection, Hill Hold Assist, Climatronic automatic air conditioner, multi-function display, Radio/CD “RCD 510” with 6-CD change and 8 speakers (RCD 310 with 8 speakers and AUX-in for 1.4 TSI), Bluetooth cellphone preparation and USB port.
Interior of the Scirocco R. Like the exterior, the interior of the Scirocco R clearly bears the hallmark of Volkswagen R. Individualised features include top sport seats with the “R” logo on headrest and decorative stitching in crystal grey, decorative “Carbon Touch” inlays and stainless steel pedals. The instrument needles are in blue and the aluminium door sill plates are complemented by an “R” logo.
Engines and running gear
The engine line up of the new Scirocco remains unchanged. The range consists of three TSI petrol engines. These turbocharged direct-injection engines with four cylinders comply with EU5 CO2 emissions standard. The power output ranges from 118 kW to 188 kW. With the exception of the base engine (1.4 TSI), all Scirocco derivatives are offered with dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) as standard. All Scirocco derivatives are front-wheel drives.
1.4 TSI with 118 kW. The Scirocco’s base engine is the 1.4 TSI with power output of 118 kW. In the combined cycle the agile turbo engine consumes just 6.6 l/100 km (equivalent to 154 g/km CO2). The engine’s maximum power is available at 5 800 rpm with forceful maximum torque output of 240 Nm between 1 500 and 4 500 rpm. The TSI reaches a top speed of 218 km/h and manages the sprint from zero to 100 km/h in just 8.0 seconds
2.0 TSI with 155 kW. The 2.0 TSI engines has power output of 155 kW available between 5 300 to 6 200 rpm. It has combined fuel consumption of 7.5 litres per 100 kilometres. The measurable performance is also impressive: 0 to 100 km/h in just 6.9 seconds. The top speed is 238 km/h. In terms of performance: the maximum torque of 280 Nm available from 1 700 up to 5 200rpm.
2.0 TSI with 188 kW. The Scirocco R is the top version of the model series. With 188 kW of power, the sports car enters a performance level where it is able to demonstrate effortless superiority on the racetrack as well. The Scirocco R accelerates to 100 km/h in just 5.8 seconds. The top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h. The engine’s maximum power is available at 6 000 rpm with maximum torque (350 Nm) produced between 2 500 and 5 000 rpm. The fuel consumption of the Scirocco R is a respectable 8.0 l/100 km (equivalent to 187 g/km CO2).
The configuration of the running gear in the Scirocco deserves the name “sports chassis” in every respect. A McPherson axle at the front ensures precise tracking and balanced comfort properties. A four-link axle at the rear rises to the challenge of providing both sportiness and comfort. What’s more, the Scirocco is optionally available with dynamic chassis control (DCC). The permanent electric control of the damping solves the conflict between a firm, sporty and a comfortable setup.
Wide track. The wide tracks of the new Scirocco is 1 569 millimetres at the front and 1 575 millimetres at the rear. The rear track is one of the widest in its segment. Aluminium hub carriers are fitted on the rear axle to extend the track and reduce the unsprung masses. With high agility the running gear has been configured to ensure maximum stability and driving safety for the Scirocco.
Bespoke running gear of the Scirocco R
As standard, Volkswagen has given the Scirocco R a bespoke sports chassis setup and equipped it with the front axle differential lock XDS. XDS is a functional extension of the electronic differential lock (EDS) that is integrated in the electronic stability control programme and effectively eliminates traction loss.
17-inch brake system for maximum deceleration. The brake system has been modified to suit the higher performance of the Scirocco R. Instead of a 16-inch system, a 17-inch system is fitted with internally ventilated discs and R-specific brake callipers painted gloss black delivering superior deceleration figures. The front discs have a diameter of 345 mm, the rear discs 310 mm. The electronic stability control programme has also been specially configured for the Scirocco R. It can be switched to sport mode with an ESC button on the centre console. During fast driving especially on roads with lots of bends or on the racetrack, the electronic stability control system’s response is delayed to offer agile handling characteristics. At the same time, the traction control system (ASR) is completely switched off when the ESC sport mode is activated. In addition, the electro-mechanical power steering of the Scirocco R has been given a sportier characteristic.
The new Scirocco can be customised with a wide range of factory fitted optional features. These include panoramic sunroof, bi-xenon headlights (standard on Scirocco R), high beam light assist, rear view camera (Rear Assist), KESSY Keyless entry, adaptive chassis control, Park Distance Control (front and rear), satellite navigation system, DynAudio 300W Excite system with subwoofer, R-Line package and Lugano 19-inch wheels.
Here is an overview of some of the optional features:
Light Assist. Light Assist automatic main beam control uses a camera in the windscreen to detect and analyse traffic ahead as well as oncoming traffic, and it automatically controls activation and deactivation of the main beam (from 65 km/h).
Adaptive chassis control. The adaptive chassis control is perfectly tailored to a sports car like the Scirocco. The system permanently adjusts the damping for each individual wheel to the road based on signals from three body and three wheel travel sensors. However, in acceleration, braking or steering manoeuvres the damping is hardened in the fraction of a second to meet driving dynamics requirements. With this automatic adjustment, the adaptive chassis control greatly enhances comfort in situations without demanding driving dynamics – solving the conflict between a firm, sporty and a comfortable setup. To enable drivers to adjust the behaviour of the system to their wishes, in addition to the “normal” programme (where all control functions are fully active) adaptive chassis control also offers “Sport” and “Comfort” modes.
DynAudio Excite sound system. The new DynAudio Excite sound system has been specially developed for the new Scirocco. A digital 8-channel amplifier generates total power of 400 watts. The eight loudspeakers with low natural resonance and the subwoofer have been individually configured for the interior of the Scirocco.
R-Line Package exterior. Volkswagen R GmbH has also created a particularly sporty exterior and interior package for the new Scirocco. The exterior package boasts distinctive bumpers with “R” styling (with integrated fog lamps at the front and a black high-gloss radiator grille and air inlet grille), individualised side sill extensions and a rear spoiler in “R” design. 18-inch “Salvador” alloy wheels are also part of the package.
Panoramic sunroof. The panoramic sunroof stretches from the A-pillar to the B-pillar to allow light to permeate into the passenger compartment. At the touch of a button the transparent roof rises by up to 39 millimetres. A sunblind offers protection from strong sunshine. But that is rarely necessary as the glass of the panoramic tilt sunroof only lets in 8.2 per cent of UV radiation, 2.8 per cent of infrared radiation (heat) and 6.9 per cent of visible light.