We place the facelifted Scirocco alongside the previous model to see if it makes bigger hits than the older one.
The new Scirocco’s cabin (left) feels better built than the older car’s (right), and offers new upholstery combinations.
If the Volkswagen Scirocco R plays hard rock, then the Scirocco 1.4 must play soft rock. The Scirocco R, with its larger and more powerful 2-litre engine, plays its songs loud and fast. The Scirocco 1.4, on the other hand, delivers sweeter but mellower tunes. Because its “music” is more aff ordable, the Scirocco 1.4 is also more popular than the Scirocco R. At press time, the former is listed at $121,800, whereas the latter costs $193,800, or $72k more. The previous Scirocco 1.4’s performance contributed to its popularity.
Despite the motor’s small displacement, the model originally produced 160bhp and 240Nm, thanks to a combination of turbocharging and supercharging. The supercharger provides boost at lower speeds, but is decoupled at higher revs once the turbocharger had a chance to spool up. Thus equipped, the older model could manage the century sprint in eight seconds. The updated Scirocco, on the other hand, is a truer soft rocker, for it no longer has a turbosupercharged powerplant. Instead, the latest model has a turbocharged 1.4-litre engine that makes 122bhp and 200Nm. With 38 fewer ponies and 40 fewer Newton-metres, the new model takes 9.7 seconds to reach 100km/h.
Despite the new 1.4L (top) producing less power, it isn’t much more economical than the older 1.4L (above).
While these figures aren’t as enticing as the ones made by the previous version, the updated model’s looks certainly are. Apart from the honeycomb grille and standard 18-inch wheels, the new Scirocco also has redesigned and upgraded head- and tail-lights. As a bonus, the VW badge at the rear now conveniently serves as a boot release lever for the tailgate. It’s a lot easier than using one’s fingertips to lift the edge of the tailgate in the older car. Although the previous Scirocco has a sporty cabin, Volkswagen has improved the interior of the updated model.
Boyracers will love the new instrument panel, with gauges that sit in individual binnacles, plus auxiliary meters that display boost pressure, elapsed time and oil temperature. More significant are the refinements made to the new Scirocco. The air-con vents, for instance, are now flush with the dashboard, and more metal applique is used to give the dashboard an even sportier touch. Now, although the latest Scirocco has a lower output compared to its predecessor, its power delivery is smoother than before, thanks to the improvements made to the 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox. In particular, the jerkiness associated with “creeping” has been eliminated. The updated Scirocco 1.4 is now more balladeer than soft rocker. But you can be sure that its mellower tunes still sound sweet to boyracers on a budget.