Source: http://www.vwvortex.com/artman/publish/vortex_news/article_1825.shtmlThe Short Version: After what seems like an eternity of rumors and digitally created photos of a possible return of the Scirocco, Volkswagen finally shows us a concept version of the Scirocco called the IROC Concept, a play on the spelling of scIROCco. As you can see in the photos Volkswagen has chosen not to pursue a retro styled Scirocco endeavor and instead went with a clean sheet of paper and a brief to make sure the vehicle would be a useful 2+2. The photos hide the true dimensions of this vehicle - compared to the current GTI the IROC is a full 4 inches longer in the wheelbase, 1.6 inches wider in track, a full 3.3 inches lower in overall height and 1.6 inches longer overall. The concept is powered by a TSI engine (VW's supercharged and turbocharged powerplant) that is rated at 210hp with a DSG gearbox. Expect the production version of the Scirocco to be very similar to the concept when it appears in late 2008. Volkswagen of America is still looking carefully at this vehicle for the U.S. market, but no decisions have been made yet to offer it in the States.
Our take: Our take comes from a hotel room in Berlin just a few hours after a public unveiling a full month before the Paris Auto Show - in other words we've seen it, touched it and sat in it already. First impressions? Admittedly for me some disappointment that the car isn't the modern day Scirocco that I was expecting. After seeing it in photos first, I wasn't prepared for the real-life dimensions - this sucker is low and wide sitting more than 3 inches lower and 1.5 inches wider than the GTI. It looks mean sitting on the stage with taut lines, huge bulging fenders, wide rear haunches and 19" wheels with 235/35ZR-19 rubber. Volkswagen's (in)famous "face" is evolving once again in the Scirocco concept with a pronounced brushed aluminum grill surround, stetched honeycomb grill and pulled back headlamps that look far more aggressive than anything else in the lineup. We see some Audi A3, some GTI, some Volvo C30 and some Alfa Romeo influences in the design. It all hangs together pretty well, but whether it looks like a VW is a little harder to decide. Overall though we think it would make a far better GTI than a Scirocco albeit you'd give up some of the current boxy utility of the Golf in exchange for sexier curves and far more aggressive look.
We had a chance to chat with the exterior designer Robert Lesnik about the IROC concept and how it all came to be. Dr. Bernhard wanted to see the company getting back to its roots and do something a bit more emotional and exciting. The idea of bringing the Scirocco back was one possibility but a source of great debate as whether to go the retro design route or start from a clean sheet of paper. In the end the clean sheet of paper won out as Volkswagen wanted to steer clear of the whole retro thing. The decision was also made that the car should be practical as well with a true 2+2 seating arrangement. This dictated a higher rear roof line that didn't slope as quickly. Yet Robert said they wanted to make sure the car had a very aggressive stance so they used EOS and Passat dimensions which permitted the design team to work the sheetmetal more around the wheels and out to the corners.
To our eyes the IROC delivers on the low-slung performance hatch appearance and if the handling and performance are nailed down as well as Bernhard brags about, this thing should make for an impressive and unique offering. Would we still like to see more of a modern-day Scirocco? Admittedly yes, but if we took the Scirocco name out of the equation there is no question we'd love to see the IROC produced. What to call it then is the real question... Maybe Volkswagen of America should dump the forthcoming Golf VI GTI and instead bring this over as a new GTI. Time will tell.
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Full Volkswagen AG Press release:
Wolfsburg/Berlin, 24 August 2006
the successful Scirocco idea in a world premiere – the Iroc concept.
New VW sports car design: Like the first Scirocco with its visual straightforwardness the Iroc also marks a stylistic turning point through its progressively designed radiator grill and a distinctive sensuality of forms. The concept of both Volkswagens is closely related, even though the vehicles are separated by over three decades: The first generation Scirocco was an attainable dream car for many people. Because the Scirocco was an automotive superstar of the 70’s, styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro and equipped with four full-fledged seats, a proper trunk, large hatchback and a lot of self-esteem. The Iroc concept takes up this fascinating idea again.
Personally: Like the idea of bringing it back, hate the name; cmon' we are not Chevy here. Looks like the took elements from the GT-R bumper, overall shape is more Golf/GTi like. Mid Grill too-meshy...and that green? I know its just a concept and everything above will do a complete 360 before this ever rolls out.