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VW's evaluation code for the VW Scirocco was EA 398. The Golf was actually planned to be announced as the "Scirocco", the 53 would have been called "Scirocco Coupe". As you know, VW changed this! The VW Scirocco (designated internally by VW as the Type 53) was announced at the Geneva show in March 1974 - pre-dating by several months the announcement of the other most significant VW of that decade - the Golf. The Scirocco filled the spot in VW's model lineup vacated by the elegantly styled Karmann Ghia. The Scirocco's design was penned primarily by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Ital Design, then refined in VW's wind tunnel at Wolfsburg.

The 1974 model was available with a 1.1 liter motor (Scirocco, Scirocco L), a or a 1.5 liter powerplant in various configurations (up to 85hp). Apparently, for 1974 only all models came with the large two rectangular headlights except for the TS model, which came with the quad headlamps that were used on all models from 1975 to 1981.

In 1976, VW unveiled the Scirocco GTi to Europe. This was a true performance car when measured against it's peers. The Scirocco GTi was equiped with front & rear sway bars, vented front discs, and a high compression, fuel injected engine.


As early as 1976 VW began to consider a redesign of the Scirocco. Sketches were made under the designation EA 491 - a Scirocco for the eighties. Two basic requirements applied to the re-design: a more aerodynamic body as well as more room for passengers and luggage. The work for the Scirocco 2 began at the end of 1976, and in the middle of 1977 several larger models were put together. Another design came from Giugiaro of Ital Design, the designer of the Scirocco 1, whose Scirocco 2 alternative strongly echoes the Scirocco1.

The design that VW settled on was developed internally by the VW design team headed up by Sch_fer. The Scirocco 2 which was introduced in 1981 (1982 model year) retained much of the character of the earlier Scirocco, but with smoother and more aerodynamic body lines as well as more passenger and luggage capacity. The new car was 6.5_ longer in European trim. Luggage capacity was increased by 20% and headroom was increased by 0.4_ up front and 0.7_ in the rear. Despite a longer length and improved interior headroom, extensive use of the wind tunnel in the design process allowed VW to improve the Cd figure from 0.42 on the Scirocco 1 to 0.38 on the Scirocco 2. Whereas the Scirocco 1 was known internally at VW as a Type 53, the Scirocco 2 was known as a Type 53b.

The Scirocco 2 carried forward from the last Scirocco 1 the same chassis and suspension (like the European Golf 1, U.S. Rabbit, Jetta 1, Rabbit Convertible/Cabriolet _ both the Scirocco 1 & 2 were built on the A1 chassis). Another feature carried forward from the Scirocco 1 was the single front windshield wiper. 1982 and 1983 Sciroccos were mono-wiper, but for unknown reasons VW switched to a two wiper setup starting with 1984 model year Sciroccos.

North American Market

The 1982 U.S. Scirocco carried forward the 1715cc 74 hp motor from the 1981 Scirocco. 1983 U.S. Sciroccos continued with the 1.7 motor until the introduction of the Wolfsburg edition mid year. The Wolfsburg edition was equipped with high level trim (leather seats were an option for the first time in the U.S.) and featured a 1781cc _JH_ motor (90hp) coupled to a close ratio transmission. The Wolfsburg edition also featured front and rear sway bars _ a feature that became standard on all US Sciroccos by the end of the 1983 model year. By 1984, all U.S. Sciroccos were supplied with the JH motor. The 8V Scirocco would feature the JH motor until the last year it was offered in the U.S. (1988). The small rear wing offered on the 1982-1983 and early 1984 models was replaced by a larger rear spoiler that ran the length of the hatch on late 1984 models.

During model year 1986, VW (finally) decided to offer a performance Scirocco to the U.S. market _ the Scirocco 16V. Rated at 123hp and equipped with larger brakes and rear swaybar _ all mounted on stylish 14_ _Teardrop_ alloy wheels - the 5 spd only (no automatic version!) charged 0-60 in just 7.8 seconds. Externally, the 16V featured a color coded bodykit and bumpers. Despite favourable press and the introduction of the Scirocco 16V, U.S. Scirocco sales continued to dwindle and the Scirocco was dropped from the U.S. lineup in 1989 as the A2 chassis based Corrado was introduced to the U.S. market.

European Market

In Europe, the Scirocco 2 was offered in various models from the Scirocco L (1272cc) to the Scirocco Gti (1588cc, 110hp). In the summer of 1982, the 1.6 liter motor in the Scirocco Gti (Europe) was replaced by a 1781cc (112hp) motor. In model year 1984, the model range was supplanted by the Scirocco GTX. Early models of the Scirocco GTX featured a body-kit by Kamei and a larger _bi-wing_ rear spoiler supplied by Zender. The Scirocco GTX featured the same 112hp 1.8 motor as the Scirocco Gti. 1984 was the last model year for the Scirocco Gti model, as this model was in effect replaced by the Scirocco GTX. Presumably in model year 1984, the small rear wing and the GTX only bi-wing spoilers were replaced with the larger rear wing that ran the entire length of the hatch. Also in 1984, VW began supplying the upper range Sciroccos with a body kit that Americans know as the 16V body kit.

In June of 1985 the long awaited 16V motor was announced. The GTX 16V was initially offered with a 139hp 1.8 16V motor (code KR). This motor was not non-catalyst and featured Bosch KA Jetronic ignition. Not too long after this VW introduced a catalyst/lambda equipped version of the 1.8 16V motor. In European form, this motor produced 129hp (engine code PL) and would be the motor featured in the first high performance Scirocco offered in the US the 1986.5 Scirocco 16V. The 16V Scirocco was heavier than most comparable 8V versions this has been attributed to the heavier cylinder head (approximately 15lb. heavier than an 8V head) and a larger exhaust, larger brakes, a heavier rear anti-sway bar and a lower front suspension brace.

As the eighties progressed VW dropped the lower end models from the Scirocco line so that by the nineties, only two Scirocco models were offered in Europe _ the GT II (1.8 liter 95hp) and the GTX 16V (1.8 liter 129hp).
The 112hp 8v Scala injection, a Scirocco DX, carried on until late 1991 in the UK.
The last Scirocco was assembled at Osnabruck on September 10, 1992. The total production for the Scirocco 2 was 291,497


The Scirocco 16v was a short lived high performance sports coupe brought to the USA starting in 1986 1/2. The Scirocco MK2 actually was produced and imported to America starting in 1982, but it all ended in 1988, for the USA at least. Canadian buyers were blessed until 1989, and the very lucky Europeans held on until 1992. The Scirocco was ultimately replaced in Volkswagens' line-up by the Corrado, which itself was relatively short lived. Unfortunately, many Americans couldn't reconcile a real sports coupe with a VW emblem on the grille; twice.

When it was availble, arguably at the peak of it's performance potential, the Scirocco 16v awarded drivers with power and VW practicality. The Scirocco 16v raced from 0 to 60 in a mere 8 seconds, very powerful for the era. The windtunnel designed bodywork helped slip the car through the air, and reduce rear lift by a reported 30 percent. The exterior was a 'love-it' or 'hate-it' affair. If you liked a deep chin spoiler, side skirts, rear valance, wheel arches, colored bumpers, all body colored; then this car was for you! Do not forget the rakish Fuba, first used on the VW line for the Scirocco 16v, and now reused on almost all VW's produced today. It's even been copied by non-VW makes! No wonder, it just oozes speed.

It was the engine, that sweet revving 1.8L, CIS-E (KE-Jetronic) fuel injected, 16 valve four cylinder, promised and delivered 123 stock horsepower at the end of the crank. Previous iterations of the 1.8L engine put down 30% less HP, the 16v was VW's ultimate 4 banger. This would be the only time the A1 chassis received the 16v engine from the factory.

Slowing the fairly light A1 chassis down (heaviest variant being the Scirocco 16v at around 2250-2300lbs) was a delight due to the factory using four-wheel disc brakes. 10.1 inch discs up front (the hottest discs from Wolfsburg until the Corrado came out), and 8.9 inch (erronously stated as 9.4) discs at the rear. Outside of the (odd) Quantum, this was also a first for the VW line, and also the only time the A1 chassis got four-wheel discs from the factory. Reports of the time indicate braking performance was fantastic when compared with other cars of the day.

The cars' running shoes consisted of tires on 14x6 teardrop alloy wheels, a much copied design, sized at 185/60. Very respectable for the time again. The 16v Scirocco was also equipped with uprated spring rates, and slightly larger front and rear anti-sway bars then previous generations. The front was sized at 16.5 mm stock, while the rear was 20-21mm.

fiber optic
Nasty. VW should be ashamed.

Thanks to that car we had the VW Gol...
I certainly can't see what's so cool about this car. I give it a 'Uncool'.
It's beautiful, and it was an incredible milestone in the history of the modern hot hatch. The GTI gets all the credit, but this thing was truly the daddy.

R. Waters
all old VWs were cool
It's okay, but not soo cool.
As a kid I used to play in one that was wrecked, I loved this car back then...
Ah shit, I'll give it cool just for old times sake biggrin.gif
awesome, i hate volkswagen
only a scirocco gti, on the level with mk1 golf gti's

that car is as uncool as it gets, rivaled only by the carmenghia
It hasn't aged very gracefully at all.
Holy old thread batman!
Time doesn't exist in the cool wall.
Scirocco is a good and pretty car.
Cool for me! thumbs_up.gif
The Scirroco si uncool, but lead to a very cool car in the Corrado.
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