VW’s funky alternative to the Golf GTI
Let’s make a list of ingredients for an affordable sports-car recipe. You’ll need – a spirited & occasionally angry engine, looks only a mother could love, an even weight distribution, a quick transmission, low ground clearance, razor sharp rims, a throaty exhaust note, a dash of impracticality & finally – rear wheel drive.
Now let’s make a list of what the 2011 VW Scirocco offers – Front Headlamps that look like something Skynet would make? Check. Turbo Charged Engine? Check. Looks only its mommy would love? Check. Throaty exhaust note? (that pops, on gearshifts!!) Check. Double-Clutch transmission? Check. Slight impracticality? Slight-Check. Rear Wheel Drive? Mafi-Check. (that’s a poor Arabic-mashup for No)
You see, all 210 horses & 280Nms of torque the car is blessed with, hit the tarmac with its front wheels only. Conventional driving wisdom would now point & laugh at the Scirocco. The Scirocco would probably respond by running over conventional wisdom with its 18″ front wheels. You see, despite being FWD the Scirocco suffers none of the deficiencies associated with front wheel drives and handles surprisingly well. It has a 0-60 time of 6.9 seconds, a top speed of 238 Kmph and its exhaust note is grin-inducing. It is a bit of a driver’s car.
If you look real hard, you’ll see some Conventional Wisdom stuck under its front wheels.
Our review car came with a decent tech loadout that included VW’s standard SatNav system, USB/iPod connectivity built into the front arm rests, a panoramic sunroof that filters out UV radiation, HID lights & 18inch Interlagos wheels. Standard equipment on all cars includes 6 airbags, traction control, height-adjustable front seats, leather steering wheel and sport chassis.
That’s the good news. The bad news is the car’s insides. I’m not a huge fan of VW interiors – they’re painfully simple. The Scirocco, despite its flat-bottomed steering wheel and large triangular door handles suffers from a slight case of interior-blandness-syndrome. Which is surprising, because the VW Group enjoys a close relationship with Porsche and actually owns Audi, Bentley, Bugatti & Lamborghini – these are marques with stunning, jaw-dropping interiors. So there’s no reason why VW’s own lineup should not have trend-setting interiors.
It’s a bit Interior-ly Deficient
On the road, the Scirocco has got a good dual personality. That means you can live with it as your daily driver & turn it into a turbo-charged go-kart should the boy (or girl) in you want to come out and play. Its also comfortable, has rear seats that fold down giving you extra boot space (755 liters to be exact) and is easy to park with its rear-camera system. The rear seats also offer decent leg space, but may give the passengers at the back a case of claustrophobia – due to its tiny windows.
VW Middle East offers the Scirocco in two variants – there’s a 160BHP 1.4 liter version that comes with a 7 Speed DSG transmission and the more powerful 2.0 liter 210BHP version with a 6 speed DSG transmission. Both transmissions also feature Dual Clutches. A Dual Clutch gearbox has two advantages – it eliminates “the jerk” you feel when cars shift from one gear to another, and it leads to super-quick shift times.
Should you not prefer the Golf GTI’s boxy looks; the Scirocco is a great alternative. Its a fun-to-drive, slightly better looking & practical car.