The new Scirocco might be the coolest-looking production car Volkswagen has built in 13 years. That is, since it stopped building the Corrado in 1995-which was an obvious successor to the original Scirocco in the first place. Historically, Americans paid a premium to own the Scirocco and the Corrado alike. They sold in limited numbers compared to the more popular GTI and that was fine, thanks to a powerful dollar. This time around, Volkswagen has confirmed that Americans won't even get the chance to pay too much. Call it a combination of a euro that gains in power daily, a pathetic dollar, and the company's desire not to upset GTI sales.
As it sits, the Scirocco is longer, wider and almost three inches lower than a GTI. Unlike a GTI, the Scirocco has been designed to seat four people, with individual bucket seats in the rear. It'll come with one of three gas engines, the fun ones making 158 and 200 hp. Why is 158 hp fun? It can be bolted up to a seven-speed version of the dual-clutch gearbox offered on other trims. If the car came Stateside, VW could only use the 200-hp, 2.0-liter engine from the GTI, strengthening the Scirocco's case as an overpriced variant of that car. A TDI engine is available in Europe.
As cool as the Scirocco is, the bean counters are right. It's hard to imagine buying one over the more useful five-seat GTI, particularly if that means paying a substantial premium, one that could bump it into Mitsubishi Evo X and Subaru WRX STI territory.