The first generation Scirocco was an attainable dream car for many people. It wouldn’t be wrong to call the Volkswagen Scirocco the automotive superstar of the 70’s. Styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro and equipped with four full-fledged seats, a proper trunk and a lot of self-esteem.
The 2009 Volkswagen Scirocco Mark 3 takes up this fascinating idea again but not fulfilling the role of a classic coupé. The narrow side windows that sits on the extremely broad and powerful shoulders across the body does follow the classic sports car appearance. Throwing observers into confusion would be the extremely long roof and a steep rear end, as these bits certainly makes the Scirocco looks closer to a hatchback.
Although closely based on the architecture of (do not use the term ‘platform’ anymore, it’s so 2000) the Golf GTI, it would be both simplistic and inaccurate to describe the Scirocco as a dolled up Golf GTI. It shares the same wheelbase but it’s 40mm longer, a significant 51mm wider and a massive 97mm lower. Most important, its track is wider by 35mm at the front and 59mm at the rear.
As a result, the lighter Scirocco with a lower centre of gravity and a broader stance accounts in no small part for the way it conducts itself on the road.
Whether it’s down to the suspension settings, wider tracks, lower centre of gravity or, most likely, some combination of all three, one of the most gratifying things you will discover about the Scirocco is that despite its common mechanics, it doesn’t feel like a Golf to drive.
The Scirocco allows you to guide the car with your fingertips, appreciating the meaty feel of the steering and the chassis’ lovely throttle-sensitive balance. Yet the Scirocco is always comfortable; reasonably firm, but never harsh, even along the most difficult roads. The ADC (Adaptive Chassis Control) which allows a choice of comfort, normal and sports does work to a certain extent, but nonetheless it is good to know that the behaviours of the car can be altered at your command.
Oddly, the top-spec model 2.0 TSI retains the old six-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox, while the 1.4 TSI comes with a new dry seven-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox. Not that it should bother you, since both DSG gearboxes are still the best “lazy” man “manual” gearboxes in the business.
Despite the style statement of the exterior, the interior of the Scirocco is sadly bland. Save for the ribbed leather seats and the trapezium door handles, the bean counters in Wolfsburg have triumphed. Lifting the interior from the Eos is a tad disappointing.
Note for all I-pod die-hards, MP3 connectivity is a cost-option extra. Well, at least there is good space for front occupants and a well-shaped boot. Also, the back two seats are certainly not confined only to Stewie Griffin from Family Guy. It’s fairly comfortable for sub 1.8 m adults.
The level of style, performance and fuel efficiency (7.6 litres per 100 km) the Scirocco has on offer is staggering. Coupled with reasonable asking prices, it is difficult not to point out that the Audi TT (Volkswagen’s corporate partner) is in grave danger; especially when Volkswagen has just given the green lights for the Scirocco R with 265 horsepower.
Despite sharing basic architectures with the Volkswagen Scirocco; the Audi TT’s steering is much lighter, oozing a different dynamic feel. Nonetheless, you know which the smarter buy is now.
|Engine||1,948 cc 4-cylinder, in-line, 16 valves
|Transmission||6-speed dual-clutch gearbox DSG
|Max. Power||200 hp@ 5,100-6,00o rpm
|Max. Torque||280 Nm@ 1,700-5,000 rpm
|0-100 km/h||7.1 secs
|Top speed||233 kph
|Fuel Economy||7.6 litres per 100 km
|CO2 Emissions||179 g/km
|Dimensions (L x W x H)
||4,256 mm X 1,810 mm X 1,404
|Price with COE*||S$117,800