May 21, 2013
High performance from new Volkswagen coupé
by Carlos Pefaur
Volkswagen Argentina has finally deployed the Scirocco coupé, a vehicle that pleases and seduces at first sight. Named after an African wind, the third generation of the model comes directly from Portugal.
With a striking silhouette, its sharp nose and strong design lines that draw a strong tail provide it with a very particular look. In our opinion, the rear section is the most personal part of the car. We also observed that it is well built, as it seems to be one of those vehicles on which one can anticipate how it will behave in motion by just taking a look at it. Its 18-inch multi-beam rims stand out as well its frameless doors and narrow and fixed rear windows.
I tested the Scirocco version powered with a 1.4 TSI engine (160 HP), mated to a six-speed manual gearbox.
It’s definitely a large coupé being 4.26 metres long, 1.81 metres wide, and 1.40 metres from bottom to top. The wheelbase is 2.58 metres, a distance that contributes to its great dynamic performance.
The interior is magnificent and features sports seats with this great grip upholstery. The good soundproofing, audio and two-way climate control systems invite to relaxation even on long trips.
Up to four adults can travel in total comfort. Entering the rear seats is as comfortable as it can be for a coupé thanks to its great front-seats’ slider system. The driver’s seat is also adjustable, as well the steering wheel.
The driver's visual field takes advantage of all common resources one can find in the brand’s dashboards. The central multifunction touch-screen has the perfect size as it is legible at only a quick glance.
The audio system performance seems correct and never saturates the work of its 8 speakers. Likewise, it has an acceptable number of drawers, glove compartments and slides. The trunk provides easy access and great capacity.
Powered with the most powerful version of this multi awarded engine (1.4-L), it delivers 160 hp thanks to the turbo with a volumetric compressor, and a torque of 24.5 kgm at a very low rate (from 1,500 to almost 4,500 rpm). Thus, resilience is positioned as one of the major strengths of this particular engine.
The gearbox provides nothing but pleasure with short gearing, an anatomic knob and secured inserts. With a multifunctional steering wheel, the gear-knob and the handbrake are lined in fine leather.
We found the suspension set quite firm and showing great response.
Anyway, it is worth speculating on the tyre pressure to minimize jumps and gain more comfort during urban driving. For those high-demanding, let’s say it is a car that reveals nothing but class and solidity.
The electromechanical steering is an ally during rush hours when streets are packed as it allows one to command the vehicle effortlessly, and with good turning radius. The highway is definitely the best place to experience and enjoy all the Scirocco virtues.
It demonstrated a sure and firm behaviour with no hesitations whatsoever. In our routes, which really lack of any maintenance, it showed great capability to adapt itself to all kind of uneven and bumpy roads. The Scirocco is a vehicle designed to allow the user to drive it for hours without feeling any tiredness.
It reaches a maximum speed of 217 kph, and accelerates from 0 to100 kph in 7.1 seconds, thus showing the remarkable performance of an engine that also surprised us because of its more than reasonable consumption. On route it manages to pound only 8.9 litres/100 km, while for urban driving it did not exceed the 9.5 litres/100km.
To the touch, the steering and brakes are extremely effective and give the impression that they were designed and developed for the speeds the Scirocco is capable of reaching.
Plus, it is a very safe car with two frontal, two side and two curtain airbags to protect all seats, electronic stability control, ABS, Brake Assist System, anti-slip regulation system, ISOFIX child-seats, three-point seatbelts, headrests for all seats, a “Plus” burglar alarm, and hill-start assist system.
Dynamically speaking, its grip is great and takes curves without hesitation, you can even change trajectory in the middle of the curve and it won’t slip.
Furthermore, the braking system works perfectly even on deplorable surfaces.
Summing up, the Scirocco 1.4 TSI showed a great dynamic performance and a remarkable mechanical solvency which all together make it a very singular sportive car with a bold aesthetic that will truly capture all eyes.