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Shanghai show: No GTS for slow-selling VW Scirocco

History repeats: Volkswagen has dusted off the GTS badge for a new variant of its feisty Scirocco hatch.

Volkswagen’s Scirocco GTS not coming to help the model emerge from Golf’s shadow

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Volkswagen logo20 Apr 2015

VOLKSWAGEN has resurrected the GTS moniker for a new variant of its Scirocco three-door sports hatch, unveiled at this week's Shanghai motor show.

A close sibling to the Golf GTI – as it was back in the early 1980s – the modern GTS shares the 162kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine, matched with either a six-speed manual gearbox or six-speed dual-clutch DSG automatic transmission.

The German car-maker sold a GTS variant of the second-generation hot hatch back in 1982, but this version of the Scirocco did not make it Down Under.

Volkswagen claims the new GTS is capable of dashing from zero to 100km/h in Golf GTI-matching 6.5 seconds, as well as having a thirst also similar at 6.1 litres per 100km.

Sitting on 18-inch alloy wheels (or 19s with an option box ticked) the GTS also has red brake callipers, body add-ons, a rear spoiler and diffuser and the option of red stripes running from snout to stern over the roof.

The interior is similarly sporting in its appearance – a black leather-wrapped sports steering wheel with red stitching amid a black on black interior trim theme, stainless steel pedals and a golf-ball look gearshifter.

Those outputs, wheel size and performance claims put it just behind the Scirocco R that is already on sale in Australia, but Volkswagen Group Australia general manager of communications Karl Gehling said the GTS was not on the local radar.

“We have no plans for the GTS, we have no plans to expand the range at this stage, it’s a niche product in the range and it fulfils its brief as the Scirocco,” he said.

“We don’t see there’s enough demand for an additional variant to justify expanding the line-up.”

Given the sales of the model in Australia it is not difficult to see why – the Scirocco narrowly missed being cut from the local line-up last year.

So far this year it has gained some ground, with 116 units shifted to the end of March, representing a 96.6 per cent improvement on its efforts to the same point in 2014.

Volkswagen found homes for just 183 in total last year, well down on its haul of 445 in 2013 or the 712 units sold in 2012, its first full year on sale in Australia after a long delay from its global launch in 2008.

That trajectory does follow a pattern for sportscars, with sales typically slowing each year after its release.

Media reports have suggested that a replacement for the Scirocco will arrive in 2017, meaning the existing model will have to soldier on for a couple more years.

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