Welcome to a new series of throwbacks, where we look back at cars or events that mattered in our collective minds as petrolheads. Previously known as the “rewind” series, we start by paying tribute to one cool cat from Wolfsburg which just met its demise – the Volkswagen Scirocco.
While the Volkswagen Golf is the teacher’s pet, the Scirocco is the popular high school jock that dates the cheerleaders. First introduced in 1974, the Giugiaro-designed coupe was a global success. The second-generation model was introduced in 1981 and stayed on for 11 years.
It took a decade and a half for Wolfsburg giants to introduce a worthy successor to bear the Scirocco nameplate. When the public responded well with the IROC concept at the 2006 Paris Motor Show, Volkswagen saw its potential as a foundation for the new ‘Roc. When the production model was revealed in 2008, the third-generation Scirocco stunned audiences worldwide.
It shared the same formula with its sibling, the Golf both in terms of platform and drive configuration. Three engine options were made available then: a 1.4-litre (twin-charged) TSI petrol engine, 2.0-litre TSI petrol and 2.0-litre TDI. The two petrol variants were brought to Malaysia in 2010 where the 157hp 1.4-litre variant was sold at RM188,888 while the 211 hp 2.0-litre commands a sticker price of RM243,888.
The latter variant offered Golf GTI performance but with sleeker aesthetics. It was by no means the fastest Scirocco as the cream of that crop rests on the Scirocco R. Output was 276 hp and 350 Nm but was never offered in all-wheel-drive unlike the Golf R. Fast forward to 2017, the Scirocco’s lineage has come to a halt. With dwindling sales figures, further hampered by the dieselgate scandal, VW finally drew the curtains closed on the storm-trooper lookalike (when in white).
How will the Scirocco be remembered? A charming two-door hot hatch with plenty of poke, or an inferior understudy of the Golf? We certainly wouldn’t doubt its potential to be a collector’s item in the years to come. Discontinued models with distinct features and drives brilliantly are among today’s key factors its collective desirability, and the Scirocco undoubtedly ticks all the boxes.
There are plenty of used Sciroccos in the used car market; with the 1.4-litre variants costing as low as RM80K. Buyers should however be wary as the particular model was part of the troubled Volkswagen lineup – plagued mostly with transmission issues so be sure to have some disposable income for service and maintenance. If the purse strings are a little more flexible, you’d be unwise to not get the 2.0-litre variant.