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THE SHARP TAiLORiNG CUTS QUiTE A DASH; With dynamic looks and lines designed to thrill, Volkswagen's Scirocco is already causing quite a stir with sports coupe devotees, as BILL CAVEN discovers.

Byline: BILL CAVEN

IT'S been 34 years since the Scirocco was a big hit ... but history looks set to repeat itself with the new model.

Described as the thinking man's sports car when it first appeared, it was an instant hit, but after the second generation model it just disappeared off our roads.

It didn't seem to have the stamina of its legendary brother, the Golf GTi.

But it's back and due out in September. And if orders are anything to go by it's going to be a huge success.

UK dealers are already taking orders. VW hope to sell nearly 3350 before the end of the year and are aiming to clock up annual sales of around 9000 models the following year.

Quite where the Scirocco is meant to fit in the VW line-up isn't clear. After all, the all-time classic Golf GTi still sells in huge numbers.

Despite this, the German marque say the newcomer is the most dynamic and technologically-advanced production coupe they have ever built.

There's no doubting the coupe is a real head turner, with its long angular front end, which may also feature on the new Golf planned for later this year.

The rising waistline at the side gives it a sharp, powerful appearance that slices through the air when on the move.

Inside, though, the car isn't as cutting edge. WV have opted for the same dashboard and instrument layout as currently found on the Eos and Golf.

While all the dials and controls are logically laid out, it's not remarkable enough to push it ahead of the rest.

When it goes on sale it will initially only be offered with a two-litre TSI engine, developing 197bhp, although there will be a choice of a six-speed manual or DSG gearbox.

Later on, it will be joined by a 1.4-litre TSI unit offering 158bhp and a two-litre TDi common rail diesel engine capable of more than 52mpg.

Having tested both petrol units I have to say that the smaller unit is a real blast thanks to the turbocharger and supercharger which provide it with plenty of energy.

It takes just eight seconds to go from rest to 62mph, which is just a tad slower than the bigger engined model.

Top speed is 135mph while the combined fuel figure of more than 43mpg is an improvement over the two-litre.

Like all VW cars, the Scirocco handles well and is rarely flustered, even when driven at high motorway speeds.

The new advanced adaptive chassis control system offers a choice of three driving settings depending on your mood or driving conditions.

Refined and smooth, the coupe is certainly pleasurable in every way and delivers strongly and competently as you would expect.

Although there will be two trim levels - standard and GT - only the latter will be available at launch.

Standard spec includes 18in alloy wheels, climate control and leather trim for the steering wheel, gearshift and handbrake.

The pleasure of parking one in your driveway will start at just under pounds 21,000.

'Refined and smooth, the coupe is certainly pleasurable in every way'

Factfile:

Model: Volkswagen Scirocco Engine: Two-litre TSI Power: 197bhp 0-60mph: 7.2 seconds Economy: 37.2mpg Emissions: 179g/km Warranty: Three years/60,000 miles Price: pounds 20,940 On sale: September 1

CAPTION(S):

LACK OF IMAGINATION: One of the main criticisms of the newcomer is its interior. Despite being well laid out, the cabin doesn't have any wow factor - so, it's just as well the sleek lines of the coupe are so distracting
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 4, 2008
Words:593
Previous Article:motoring NEWS.
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