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Volkswagen Scirocco unveiled

Published: 03 March 2008

VW has finally taken the wraps off the new Scirocco, 15 years after killing off the last generation coupe. Due to be officially unveiled at Geneva 2008, the Golf-based Scirocco has a pleasingly similar exterior to the Iroc concept shown at the 2006 Paris Motor Show, although the concept’s space-age interior has, predictably, undergone the full production watering-down.

Isn’t the Scirocco just a three-door Golf in a different suit?

How cynical. The Scirocco shares plenty with the Golf, including its chassis and a load of interior parts, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It’s an important model for VW – the company hasn’t had a sporty coupe in its line-up since the Corrado retired in 1996. It replaced the original 1974 Giugiaro-designed Scirocco in 1989.

Now, 12 years on from the Corrado, VW has taken the Golf's underpinnings and stretched a longer, lower and wider body over the top to create the new Scirocco, a proper four-seat coupe which retains the practicality of small family hatchback.

So, the Scirocco should accommodate four adults in relative comfort and the boot can swallow 292 litres – only 58 less than the Golf.

The Scirocco’s a coupe, so shouldn’t you be telling me about its performance?

Indeed. The Scirocco will be launched with only one engine option, but thankfully that engine is the 2.0 T-FSI from the Golf GTI, good for 197bhp and 207lb ft of torque. VW hasn’t spilled the beans on performance figures for the new coupe yet, but expect the 0-62mph sprint to be in the same region as the Golf’s 6.9 seconds (with the optional DSG 'box fitted).

But what really separates the Scirocco from common-or-garden Golfs is the adaptive chassis control, which allows the driver to alter the damping and steering settings by switching between comfort, normal and sport modes.

The coupe also features VW’s electronic stability programme (ESP), anti-lock brakes (ABS) and hydraulic brake assist.

Click 'Next' below to get engine and pricing details on Volkswagen's new Scirocco coupe 

What, no diesel? Isn’t Volkswagen missing a trick there?

Don’t worry, a range of petrol TSI and diesel TDI engines will be dropped under the front-drive coupe’s bonnet from 2009 onwards, though VW is tight-lipped on exactly what they’ll be. Smart money will go on the 2.0 TDI diesel unit making an appearance, particularly in light of Audi’s new 168bhp TT TDI, and although VW has ruled out a four-wheel drive R32 variant on cost grounds, a lighter, forced-induction four-pot R20 with 230bhp is set to become the flagship. Expect VW's clever turbo and supercharged 1.4 TSI to feature too, in both 138bhp and 168bhp guises.

Two gearboxes will be available at launch – a six-speed manual and VW’s excellent 6-speed twin-clutch DSG, followed by a seven-speed DSG in 2009.

Don’t tell me – there’ll be a massive price premium for the Scirocco over an equivalent Golf

Once again your cynicism is misplaced. There’s no exact price yet, but VW expects the 2.0 T-FSI launch model to cost around £20,000 – that’s £815 less than a three-door Golf GTI. Of course, that number will probably be a few hundred pounds awry of the list price, but it appears the traditional premium justified by calling a three-door a ‘coupe’ has been waived.

Volkswagen is opening the order book on the Scirocco in June for first UK deliveries in September.

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