GERMANY/UK: VW Scirocco ideas unveiled

By just-auto.com editorial team | 25 August 2006

Volkswagen has not yet pushed the 'production' button for a vehicle exactly like the Iroc sports car concept unveiled in Berlin last night but will definitely build a new sports coupe sometime after 2008, according to a VW UK spokeswoman.

Press information manager Kate Thompson said VW would gauge reaction from press and public at events such as the Paris motor show next month before making final decisions on what the parent company billed "the return of the Scirocco", the iconic sports coupé which made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show 33 years ago.

The concept was shown in Viper Green metallic paint, the exact shade available in the original Mark One Golf-based 1976 Scirocco. The Iroc has a very long roof and steeply sloping rear, which gives it an aggressive and sporting appearance, and provides space in the back for two adults plus luggage.

In size, the Iroc is slightly longer (36mm) than the current Mark V Golf, measuring 4,240mm, and 41mm wider at 1,800 mm. Its wheelbase is over 10cm longer than that of the Golf at 2,680 mm; however with its squat coupé-like stance, it is 79mm lower at 1,400mm. The Iroc has 19" alloy wheels.

The Iroc has a new Volkswagen 'face' not yet common to other vehicles in the range, though the honeycomb-shaped structure of the radiator grille is a link to the Golf GTI. Another notable feature is the lack of obvious A pillars, due to the wide windscreen which overlaps them at the front.

Inside, the Iroc has four seats, as well as a spacious boot of 300 litres, which can be increased if the rear seats are folded down. Despite this practicality, the Iroc has been clearly designed inside as a sports car, with features such as front bucket seats and integrated five-point seat belts with central buckle.

Most distinctive, however, are the gauges and controls in the Iroc's cabin which, at first glance, looks to have been inspired by 1960s American cars.

Two large and newly-designed round instruments form the visual centre of the cockpit. The driver looks into two cylinders with twelve illuminated bars which create three-dimensional segmentation within the instruments. We wonder if this would make production.

Under the bonnet, the Iroc features Volkswagen's ground-breaking TSI petrol technology, which uses both turbocharger and supercharger to produce diesel-like consumption with impressive performance. Designed to maximise driving fun, the concept has a 210 bhp TSI engine, but a range of TSIs, starting from under 150 bhp, are also feasible.

"The Iroc combines practicality with driving fun and expressive design in a car that as a possible series-production vehicle would be attractively positioned in price," VW said in Berlin.

The Scirocco was a huge success for Volkswagen, with over half a million examples of the Giugiaro-designed first generation produced. A second generation followed in 1981. When sales stopped in 1993, 77,460 Sciroccos had been sold in the UK.