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Thread: Scirocco's sharp tailoring loses its edge

  1. #1
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    May 2006

    Default Scirocco's sharp tailoring loses its edge

    July 5, 2008

    A coupe worth waiting for

    Volkswagen Scirocco is a hard-boiled hot hatch in sharp designer togs

    By Edric Pan

    HOWDY HANDSOME: The Scirocco is slightly longer than the Golf but sits closer to the ground. It has also done away with VW's trademark 'goatee' front trim. -- PHOTO: VOLKSWAGEN AG

    LISBON, PORTUGAL - LIKE its 1970s namesake, the new Volkswagen Scirocco shares its platform and basic running gear with the Golf hatchback. But in proportion and form, it is like no other VW, present or past.

    From its thrusting nose to its low, tapered glasshouse and voluptuous flanks, this car oozes attitude. It's not a big car (at 4.26m, it is just a bit longer than the Golf), but it is low and broad.

    With a track which is 35mm wider than the Golf's in the front and 59mm wider at the rear, the Scirocco's stance is squat and purposeful.

    Notably, the Scirocco has ditched VW's trademark 'goatee' front grille, and instead employs a slim black horizontal slatted opening to bridge the space between its wide-set headlamps. This visually lowers and broadens the front end, and is apparently VW's new corporate face.

    There is less flair in the cabin though. The car shares the VW Eos convertible's upright, sober fascia. Perhaps a bespoke affair would have been more apt, given the visual drama of the exterior.

    With its low, sloping roofline you would not expect the Scirocco to offer much cabin space but it is actually pretty accommodating. The rear seats are individually sculpted buckets so it's strictly a four-seater, but occupants will have more than enough room in every direction.

    Two engines were available at launch: a 1.4-litre twin-charged (supercharged and turbocharged) unit putting out 160bhp, and the familiar 200bhp turbocharged 2-litre unit. Only the latter will be launched in Singapore.

    Which is not a bad thing. In the Golf GTI, this engine has delighted us with its smooth, tuneful character, its effortless torque and its punchy, linear delivery. In fact, this engine must take most of the credit for the GTI's cult-car status among enthusiasts.

    If anything, the engine performs even better in the Scirocco, which weighs about 50kg less than a three-door GTI. Coupled with VW's ever impressive dual-clutch DSG gearbox, it gives the car sparkling performance, with 100kmh being reached in 7.1 seconds and swift acceleration on tap from any speed.

    While the Scirocco is adept at shrinking the straights, it also has a similar appetite for corners. The steering is light and could do with a tad more feel but the car responds keenly when the wheel is swivelled, darting into corners with little roll and remaining resolutely planted all the way around. Just like the GTI - but with even more poise and grip.

    And if that's not enough, the Scirocco is available with an adaptive damping system as an option. Sensors assess the driving style and road conditions, and adjust damper stiffness to suit.

    Apart from the default Normal setting, you can choose either Comfort or Sport mode. It is especially useful during hard driving, when the tighter body control and further resistance to roll in Sport mode impart a useful measure of additional agility to the car's behaviour.

    Impressively, despite it being so driver-focused, the Scirocco's ride is decent - firm but comfortable - except in Sport mode, when things do get a bit jiggly.

    The car will be here early next year and it's worth the wait. Germany may have lost the Euro 2008 final but its new coupe is a winner.

    [email protected]

    While the Scirocco is adept at shrinking the straights, it also has a similar appetite for corners.


    Price: To be announced

    Engine: 1,984cc 16-valve inline-4 turbo

    Transmission: Six-speed DSG with paddle shift

    Power: 200bhp at 5,100rpm

    Torque: 280Nm at 1,700-5,000rpm

    0-100kmh: 7.1 seconds

    Top speed: 235kmh

    Fuel consumption: 7.6 litres/100km (city-highway)

    Agent: Volkswagen Centre Singapore

  2. #2
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    Join Date
    May 2006

    Default Scirocco's sharp tailoring loses its edge,00.html?

    Published July 5, 2008

    Scirocco's sharp tailoring loses its edge

    By C Y CHEW

    THE Scirocco - both the first and second generation - is the best-selling Volkswagen coupe of all time. It was the sexy alternative to the utilitarian Golf, although it was more about show than go. But last week in Lisbon, the new third-generation Scirocco matched show with go.

    Dynamic performance: The Scirocco revs with vigour to its 6,500rpm red line and the exhaust note appears re-tuned for a sportier soundtrack

    While it looks pleasant enough, the styling of the latest offering breaks no new ground. It isn't a head-turner either, maybe unless it is in striking Viper-Green.

    The slim, classic lines of the Giugiaro-styled original are gone. The front of the car with what will be VW's new corporate grille has hints of the Audi R8, while the bulbous rear end - its rear track is 59mm wider than the Golf - hints at other European hatchbacks.

    There is no mistaking its dynamic performance however, with the familiar 200 hp turbocharged 2.0-litre found in the Golf GTI. Equipped with Volkswagen's innovative six-speed DSG double-clutch gearbox in the latter, performance is strong and the car felt quicker than its 50kg weight advantage over the GTI would suggest. The Scirocco revs with vigour to its 6,500rpm red line and the exhaust note appears re-tuned for a sportier soundtrack. And with 280Nm from just 1,700rpm, daily commuting is a breeze.

    The Scirocco uses a modified Golf suspension with 35mm wider track up front and a rear multi-link suspension pilfered from the Eos cabriolet-coupe. Grip levels are high and ride comfort is good - the damping is excellent - although it may be a little too firm for some.

    Volkswagen's DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control) is available as an option and makes a noticeable difference to ride comfort and cornering prowess. One irritating nuance is that when ESP is deactivated, the warning light blinks continually, even though ESP is never totally 'off'. The electro-mechanical power steering has also been recalibrated for the Scirocco, and offers better self-centring and improved steering feel.

    Inside the car, the dashboard and seats are standard Golf fare with respectable fit and finish. But like most coupes, the rear seats are best reserved for kids despite what the brochure says. Six airbags, cruise control, automatic climate control are all standard.

    When it goes on sale in Europe next month, the Scirocco will be a token 100 euros less than a comparably equipped three-door Golf GTI - good value considering it's more fun to drive.

    If Volkswagen can maintain the same pricing strategy when the car arrives on our shores in January, choosing it over the GTI is a no brainer because it feels sharper. It is only at a disadvantage if you need to ferry four adults on a regular basis. But against equally fun-to-drive peers such as the Mini Cooper S and BMW's 1 Series, it might have its work cut out.

    Volkswagen Scirocco 2.0 TSI

    Engine: 1,984cc 4-cylinder turbocharged
    Gearbox: 6-speed DSG
    Max power: 200 hp @ 5,100 rpm
    Max torque: 280 Nm @ 1,700-5,000 rpm
    0-100 kmh: 7.1 secs
    Top speed: 233 kmh
    Estimated price: $123,000 (with COE)
    Distributor: Volkswagen Centre Singapore, Tel: 6474-8288

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