Volkswagen Scirocco History

volkswagen scirocco history

Volkswagen Scirocco History

Here’s the Scirocco is a sport compact car offered by the German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen between 1974 and 1992. Two generations were released before being revived by the third generation in 2008. The Scirocco was highly successful and helped bolster VW’s reputation in North America and Europe.

The Scirocco is the successor model of the Volkswagen Karmann Ghia. Same as the Golf (Rabbit in the US) and Jetta, the first generation of Scirocco (MK1) built on an A1 chassis, but they were sleeker and sportier. The engine and all parts of the Sciroccos were designed to favor a performance driver, it’s a serious sports car purpose on the Volkswagen badge, and they come in a 3-door hatchback body type.

Where’s coming from the name of Scirocco taken? My guess is it’s coming from the desert when the wind blows to sweeping dust on the desert, they got inspiration but it’s not entirely wrong, not coming from the desert but from the Mediterranean exactly. Originally Sirocco is the Mediterranean wind name, then Volkswagen used the Scirocco for named this car.

Volkswagen makes numerous references in marketing literature to this. As an example, their 1975 print advertisement states: “Scirocco. A hot new car from Volkswagen. As fast and powerful as the desert wind it’s named after.” A Volkswagen brochure for the second-generation Scirocco states: “Named after a fierce desert wind, the Scirocco’s front wheel drive and transverse engine contribute to its tracking ability at all speeds.”
Source Wikipedia

Volkswagen Scirocco MK1
(the first generation produced period 1974–1981)

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Launched six months before the Golf, in 1974 the Scirocco was released in Europe and then North America in 1975 followed by Japan in 1976. Powered by four-cylinder engines comes with various configurations of specs, for Europe, North America, and Japanese market purposes. All feature a single-overhead camshaft and two valves per cylinder. Known internally, Type 53 is the first generation.

  • 1974, the first sale in the Europe market, powered by a four-cylinder engine with a 4-speed manual, available in 3 series, 1.1 L for S, 1.3 L for L, and 1.5 L for TS. Only this year the Scirocco had two large rectangular headlights for S and L, then for the top line of the series, the TS came with four rounded headlights that were used on all models from 1975 to 1981.
  • 1975, the first sale in the North American market offered a four-cylinder 1.5L engine, the 4-speed manual comes with four rounded headlights to comply with the US D.O.T. approved regulations at that time. An automatic transmission option was added in January 1975 and offered in Europe.
  • 1976, a true performance of the Scirocco’s unveiled, the GTi series offered in Europe, it has modernized technology came with fuel Injection and the engine was grown at 1.6 L. The mono wiper on the front windshield was introduced. The sciroccos goes to Japan market at Yanase dealerships and came with right-hand drive, initially offering the TS trim package with the 1.4 L engine and a 4-speed manual transmission.
  • 1977, the GTE and LS series was offered in Japan powered by a 1.5 L engine with fuel injection technology from Bosch. The GTE was available with either the 4-speed manual transmission or the 3-speed automatic, while the LS offered the automatic only. The special versions called Sidewinder and Champagne Edition were offered in all markets.
  • 1978, there are some minor changes in the details of the body profile, as the wrap-around front turn signals were introduced, and black plastic bumpers replace previous metal or chrome surfaced bumpers. The Scirocco GTi was unveiled in North America. Due to the overwhelming success of the first Champagne Editions sales campaign, the Champagne Edition II was released, also Sidewinder II.
  • In 1979, the 5-speed manual transmission was introduced in the US as an option.
  • 1980, US model available with a 1.8 L diesel engine.
  • 1981, the final model year of the Scirocco MK1. The 5-speed manual became standard in the US. Only US models have 1.7 L engines.

How fast is this car?
Early Scirocco in Europe specs, four-cylinder 1.1 L engine with 4-speed manual produces 50 hp, top speed: 144 km/h (89 mph), accelerations: 0- 60 mph 14.6 seconds, 0- 100 km/h 15.5 seconds (declared by factory).

Volkswagen Scirocco MK2
(the second generation produced period 1981–1992)

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Heavily redesigned by Volkswagen’s own internal design team, although it remained on the A1 platform, it featured a more aerodynamic as well as more room for passengers and luggage. Same as the first, the second generation is still assembled on behalf of Volkswagen by Karmann of Osnabrück. The  Known internally at VW as a Type 53B.

During 1981–1992, in general, the Scirocco MK2 powered by four-cylinder comes with fuel injection engines, which initially all models featuring 8-valve engines than in the North American market offered 16-valve engines. They have numerous trim levels exist, depending on the model year and market. Here’s the list of trim levels produced and offered from low to the top, as the L, CL, GL, LS, GLS, GLI, GT, GTI, GTL, GTX, GT II, Scala, GT 16V and GTX 16V, including the special limited edition models, the White Cat (Europe), Tropic (Europe), Storm (UK), Slegato (Canada), and Wolfsburg Edition (USA). Only the GTi with the 1.8 L engine in either manual or an automatic transmission is offered in Japan.

  • March 1981, at Geneva International Motor Show the Scirocco MK2 show up. As we know specifications in North America are somewhat different from those of cars sold in the rest of the world, due to the differing safety and emissions regulations in place there.
  • 1982, North America specs produce 74 hp coming from a four-cylinder 1.7 L engine with 5-speed manual transmission.
  • 1984, North America specs produces 90 hp coming from a four-cylinder 1.8 L engine with 5-speed manual transmission. The return of two windshield wipers.
  • 1986, a 16-valve model was released in the United States and Canada, which included a full body skirt, a larger rear spoiler, and tear-drop-shaped wheel slots to distinguish it from 8-valve models. The automatic transmission was offered in Japan market.
  • 1988, the last Scirocco’s was sold in the United States then they were replaced by the Corrado’s.
  • 1989, and following the United States, the Corrados replaces the role of the Sciroccos in Canada.
  • 1992, is the final year of the Scirocco MK2 in all markets. Officially was aimed further upmarket, with the Corrado replacing the Scirocco position.

Volkswagen Scirocco
(the third generation produced period 2008–present)

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Revived generation, totally modernize Scirocco, just for European not for sale in North America, Volkswagen America vice president Adrian Hallmark claimed that Volkswagen preferred not to bring the Scirocco to North America since it could negatively affect GTI (Golf) sales. Still in a 3-door hatchback body style, the Scirocco’s based on A5 chassis (PQ34 platform), built by AutoEuropa in Palmela, Portugal.