Eight years is usually more than enough time for a car to age dramatically, but that doesn’t seem to apply to the Volkswagen Scirocco. While the current model appeared back in 2008, even today it looks as fresh as it did on the designer’s sketch pad.
This is the latest version: a limited- edition model that harks back to the original Scirocco GTS launched back in 1982. It follows the same formula as the original GTS, bringing visual enhancements in the form of body decals that stretch over the bonnet, roof and tailgate. Some potential buyers will be pleased to hear these can be deleted as a no-cost option.
However, whereas the original Scirocco GTS developed a miserly 90bhp from its naturally aspirated 1.8-litre engine, the modern day interpretation packs a Golf GTI-matching 217bhp 2.0-litre turbo.
The Scirocco is one of the only models in VW’s range that hasn’t made the switch to the MQB platform that underpins everything from an Audi TT to a VW Passat; it’s still based on the old PQ35 chassis found beneath the Mk5 Golf back in 2005.
Still, despite the prehistoric running gear, the Scirocco displays a sprightly driving character. The engine revs keenly through to 7,000rpm, and develops 350Nm of torque, while the tight, snickety six-speed manual gearbox helps you to make the most of it.
It has always been an effective powertrain.
The GTS will do 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds, which can only be described as moderately brisk by today’s standards.
But, while the GTS equals the GTI’s out-and-out power, you’ll have to pay extra to get the XDS electronic differential system that the hot hatch has as standard. This £210 option nips the front brakes to help turn-in, but even with it in place, over-enthusiastic cornering will result in a tidal wave of speed-sapping understeer.
It’s best to ease off and let the front wheels find more bite, at which point the steering becomes more communicative.
Our car had optional adaptive dampers, which did little to help the ride quality, because even in the softest setting the Scirocco hops and fidgets about on the road; it’s here the coupe is beginning to show its age, despite its pretty face.
However, while the Scirocco is less than outstanding these days, one thing about it stands out clearly – its £28,445 price tag. Choose a few options and that figure soon rockets; our test car featured those adaptive dampers and bi-xenon lights, which took its price beyond £31,000.
Optional adaptive dampers don’t do much to improve the ride. GTS touches include sportier bumpers, rear diffuser and body decals
Six-speed manual gearbox is standard, altought a dual-clutch auto can be specced for £1,500. However, economy does suffer slightly.
There’s room for only two in the back, but kneeroom is decent. Coupé body does mean headroom is at a premium, though.
It’s still a looker and decent fun to drive, but the Scirocco GTS’s hefty price is definitely a stumbling block. The sensible money would go on a three-door Golf GTI, which offers identical performance for £1,000 less. It’s even better to drive, and features a far more modern interior. Having said that, there’s scope for haggling and big discounts can be had not only on the Scirocco, but the Golf GTI, too
Volkswagen Scirocco GTS
Engine: 2.0-litre 4cyl turbo
Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
0-62mph: 6.5 seconds
Top speed: 153mph
ON SALE: Now
NEED TO KNOW
Behind China, the UK is the most popular market for the Scirocco.