This weekend Volkswagen is bringing out a new racing version of its Scirocco for its first public debut, at the 24-hour race at Germany’s Nürburgring.
The new Scirocco is powered by the 265-horsepower, TSI version of VW’s 2.0-liter turbocharged, direct-injection mill, as used in the Audi TTS in North America. Our own Rex Roy recently tested a TTS and returned beaming about the engine’s responsiveness and vocal character. An XDS limited-slip front differential, combined with the latest version of the company’s ESP stability control, helps deliver all that power smoothly through the front wheels.
Visually, the Scirocco R is heavily influenced by the real thing, VW’s GT24 racer, with bigger air openings in front, bigger roof-edge spoiler, dual chrome tailpipes, accented sill panels, and unique 18-inch ‘Talladega’ alloys.
Now for the bad news: Contrary to what we were hearing several years ago—and comments from VW as recently as last fall that it was reconsidering the Scirocco—Volkswagen now has no plans to bring any Scirocco model to the U.S., according to VW of America chief Stefan Jacoby. The Scirocco is built alongside the Eos at a plant in Portugal, and currency issues are expected to be part of the problem. As Volkswagen is moving to establish several higher-volume models focused toward the North American market, many of its niche models, like the Scirocco, aren’t part of that plan.
The U.S. might not be completely skipped over on all the performance goodies, though. At last check, the U.S. was due to see the XDS system in upcoming GTI, which will be redesigned for 2010, and the stronger engine was also expected. A next-generation version of the high-performance R32 is still up in the air, though much more likely than the Scirocco.
So it looks like we’ll be left to dream of this hot little coupe from across the pond.