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Volkwagen’s Scirocco is go for Oz

R that's better: Volkswagen has finally decided to sell its Scirocco coupe in Australia, but only in high-performance R trim to begin with.

R-rated Scirocco finally gets VW blessing for Australia in range-topping 195kW form

Volkswagen logo21 Apr 2011

By JAMES STANFORD and RON HAMMERTON

AUSTRALIAN drivers will finally be able to get their hands on Volkswagen’s stylish Golf-based Scirocco three-door coupe when it arrives in Australia in its cracking 195kW ‘R’ form from early 2012.

Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA) will show the four-seat Scirocco R at the Australian International Motor Show in July, but the company says the hot hatch is still at least eight months away.

Although the company is committing to only a single specification, VGA managing director Anke Koeckler has left the door open for additional models from the range which is offered with six engine choices – four petrol and two diesel – in Europe.

The Scirocco has been a pet project of Ms Koeckler, who told GoAuto that she has been working on a business case for the product since she arrived in Australia 18 months ago.

She confirmed at this week’s 2011 Passat launch that the latest third-generation model – built on the Golf V platform in VW’s Portuguese factory since 2008 – had now been given the tick of approval to join the long list of new-model additions for Australian release.

3 center imageFrom top: Volkswagen Eos facelift, Volkswagen Tiguan facelift, Volkswagen Amarok.

Other models in the pipeline include the fuel-sipping BlueMotion diesel Golf, EOS coupe-cabrio facelift, Jetta small car, Tiguan facelift and Amarok single-cab, petrol and automatic transmission variants.

The Scirocco will provide a twin-pronged ‘R’ attack on the small-car market, with the AWD five-door Golf R 4Motion and three-door Scirocco R sitting side by side in the range.

The Scirocco effectively will replace the current three-door Golf R, which will be dropped from the line-up. The remaining five-door Golf R, powered by an 188kW 2.0-litre TSFI four-cylinder petrol engine, will offer five-door practicality, while the Scirocco will target more style conscious drivers.

In Europe, the Scirocco R’s version of the turbo-charged 2.0-litre TSI engine is rated at 195kW of power and 350Nm of torque – a step up on the Golf R.

Like the 155kW Golf GTI, the Scirocco channels its power through the front wheels using VW’s electronic cross-axle traction (XDS) control system to tame the traction.

It has VW’s Adaptive Chassis Control, which allows the driver to vary the chassis settings, and both manual and DSG dual-clutch transmission are available. The zero-to-100km/h sprint is achieved in six seconds – 0.3 seconds second slower than the all-paw Golf R.

The absence of a Golf R-style all-wheel-drive 4Motion system not only makes the Scirocco lighter and more nimble than the five-door Golf R, but should enable VAG to price the Scirocco under the remaining Golf variant, which tips the scales at $49,990 – a premium of more than $9000 on the two-wheel-drive Golf GTI.

VAG general manager press and PR Karl Gehling said more details of the Scirocco R and its Australian debut would be announced at the Australian motor show which kicks off at the Melbourne Exhibiton Centre on July 1.

The Scirocco will ensure that VW’s new-model avalanche – with the release of an average of one new model or significant facelift a month this year – will continue into 2012.

Next cabs off the VW rank will be the BlueMotion Golf and EOS cabrio in May.

In third quarter, the Mexican-made Jetta small sedan – the Golf with a boot – will arrive in local showrooms. That car also will be shown in local form at the Melbourne motor show.

The Tiguan facelift, which was seen recently at the Geneva motor show, will arrive late in the year, but don’t expect much extra movement on Amarok until 2012, as the current diesel-powered, manual transmission crew-cab variant will be all that’s available until then.

A upgraded Passat CC four-door coupe is also in the pipeline.

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