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The Warsaw Voice » Society » October 28, 2009
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Volkswagen Scirocco 2.0 TSI: The Legend Returns
October 28, 2009   
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Retro vehicles definitely are still in. Hot on the trail of its Beetle comeback, Volkswagen has boldly revived its '70s cult model, the Scirocco.

Scirocco, the desert wind that scorches the Mediterranean from Africa, is also the name of a coupe Volkswagen unveiled in 1974. The vehicle was the work of well-known Italian designer Giorgio Giugiaro and the market gave it an enthusiastic reception. The 500,0000 who purchased the car between its inception and 1981 were swayed by its interior functionality and technical features-like front wheel drive-as much as by its stylish body and impressive performance. The second-generation Scirocco, produced between 1981 and 1992, won over another 300,000 purchasers.

Volkswagen made Scirocco aficionados wait until fall last year for the third generation. This time round, the no less renowned Walter de Silva was responsible for the design.

It was well worth the wait. The stylish body is a throwback to its predecessor. The car is typically proportioned at 4,256 mm in length, just 1,404 mm in height and 1,810 mm in width. The narrow grille and slanting headlights give the vehicle a strong profile. The sideline has a sharp wedge shape with a raised window line, falling roof line, pushed-back body and a chunky rear end with a minimal overhang (the distance from the rear axle to the end of the rear bumper). The 17-inch wheel rims fitted to the vehicle give it an aggressive appearance. It appears to be moving, even when standing still.

The interior décor matches the sporty body line. Seasoned Volkswagen drivers will find the cabin familiar. The indicators and switches are ergonomically arranged and the instrument dials are easy to read. No surprises there. Much of this has been lifted from the fifth-generation Golf. The aluminum dash inlay, the flat-bottomed steering wheel, and the molded driver's seat add to the Scirocco's sporty spirit. The seating behind the driver and the ergonomics are of the utmost quality.

The test-drive unit was equipped with a 2-liter 200 hp turbocharged TSI (Twincharger Stratified Injection) engine and a DSG 6-speed automatic transmission. This combination was a winner. The TSI engine is based on direct fuel injection with one compressor working at low revs and a second turbo compressor that kicks in over 2,400 rpm. The vehicle reaches its maximum torque of 270 Nm at 1,700 rpm and its maximum power at 5,100 rpm. This combination gives extraordinary flexibility and power over the entire range of the engine. The Scirocco weighs in at a modest 1,300 kg, has a top speed of 233 kph and reaches 100 kph from standstill in just under 7.1 seconds. The engine is satisfactory and fuel consumption is reasonable. Average fuel consumption was 9 liters per 100 km during the test drive. This car is a joy to drive and not just because of the engine statistics but also the lightning response of the gearbox and the resilience of the suspension (the test-drive model had the optional adaptive shock absorbers fitted).

This is a fast and dexterous sporting car and it is little wonder that it is no less prized than earlier models. The front is spacious. The rear is a little less so, although there are two separate seats and a 292-liter trunk. One shortcoming may be the limited visibility while navigating around town. Fortunately, help is at hand in the guise of the reverse warning system.

The standard model has no shortage of standard features, including ABS/ESP, air-conditioning, a top-notch audio/CD/mp3 system with eight speakers, and a full set of front, side and curtain airbags, and can be yours for around zl.100,000. What you get in return is a beautiful sporting vehicle with an excellent engine and a wonderful transmission and suspension. It might even be worth keeping a few CDs from the era of the first model on hand. I chose Deep Purple's Made in Japan. Nothing suits this music better than a new Scirocco.

Bartosz Grzybiński
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