The Volkswagen Scirocco has long been one of the most visually appealing models in the expansive VW line-up, and also among its sportiest. So, it’s good news to hear that there’s a new model coming to the Geneva Motor Show next month.
Here’s the bad news: if you live in the U.S., you’ll have to admire the 2015 Volkswagen Scirocco from afar. Unless the German maker finally has a change of heart, it appears the facelifted coupe still won’t make the trans-Atlantic jump. But we keep hoping.
Actually, the 2015 version is more than just a facelift, with plenty of new technology and a lot happening under the hood that makes the update both more powerful and as much as 19% more fuel-efficient.
Both a Scirocco and sportier Scirocco R will reach European showrooms by August. They should stand out immediately with new front and rear styling. Up front, that includes a choice of new halogen or bi-xenon headlamps, as well as aerodynamic “blades” at the corners of the bumper designed to better challenge airflow. The rear gets new LED taillamps and an all-new trunk lid, as well as a black diffuser.
The overall look, the maker suggests – and these images underscore – is one of a wider and more contoured vehicle than the outgoing coupe.
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Inside, VW has revised the cabin layout. There are some intriguing, if slightly retro, details. The instrument panel adopts a somewhat tubular layout, the steering wheel adopting the sporty styling previously found in the Golf GTI. There are new storage areas, such as one by the handbrake, and more upscale materials, including Alcantara, are available, depending on your trim level.
The Scirocco R adopts an appropriately sporty visual theme with details including the “Race” seat covers, a black roofliner, carbon accents, Piano Black faceplates, aluminum door sills and stainless steel pedals.
There will now be six direct injection engines, including four gas and two diesel packages, ranging from 125 to 280 horsepower in the Scirocco R. All but the most powerful engines will be paired with fuel-saving Stop/Start and VW claims the range is as much as 19% more fuel-efficient than before. All six engines turn out a minimum 3, and as much as 20, more horsepower than before.
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Named for the Mediterranean wind, the sirocco, the VW Scirocco was briefly sold in the States before the nameplate was temporarily retired in 1992. It was brought back to life with a third-generation model in 2008.
But VW has so far put off any plans to bring the Scirocco back to the U.S., despite strong appeals from its fans. The concern is that there wouldn’t be enough demand, especially with the Golf R jumping the Atlantic in the months to come. In Europe, they appeal to distinctly different audiences but the fear is that there would be too much overlap here.
On the flip side, VW has been strongly with sliding sales and looking for ways to pump a little more excitement into the American market. Its first priority appears to be a production version of the CrossBlue crossover concept, as it has very little traction in the CUV segment with the current Tiguan and Touareg models. But sometimes, industry analysts note, it take a halo car to get potential buyers to even think about your mainstream lines. Might VW planners eventually see the Scirocco as the right car for that role?
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