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Volkswagen Scirocco 1.4 TSI - Roc'in Out

Photos and text by Sabrina Lee, CarBuyer.

The facelifted Scirocco breezes into town with a new engine and sharpened looks

First released in 1974, the Scirocco was to be VW's version of the affordable sports car. The 'classic' 'Rocco had lovely lines penned by Giugiaro, and lasted two generations, all the way up to 1992.

Sixteen years later Volkswagen decided to resurrect it. The new model, launched in 2008, wasn't a disappointment as it paired GTI-levels of driving fun, even in less powerful versions like the 1.4-litre, 170bhp twincharged model. Six years on, the model gets a facelift, albeit subtle. In line with Volkswagen's new design language, the current model features restyled front and rear sections with redesigned headlights, which are optional bi-xenon headlights for both high and low beam. It is also fitted with cornering lights that follows the steering angle of the car.

 

The biggest difference however, can be found under the hood. Offered for the first time in Singapore, the Scirocco's new turbocharged 1.4-litre engine feels torquey, but not as robust as the third generation model producing only 122bhp - that's 38bhp less than before, but you have the new COE Cat A 'power cap' to thank for that.At the top of the range is the Scirocco R, which is powered by the familiar 2.0-litre engine in a high state of tune, as found in the Golf R, packing 256bhp.

We drove the 1.4 TSI (DSG) equipment package model which has neither start/stop ignition nor keyless entry. It does however come with a tilting sunroof and a nifty-looking triple auxiliary gauge cluster - charge pressure, chronometer, and engine oil temperature - a tribute to the original 1974 model, as standard. The new Scirocco gets the Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), an adaptive suspension system that gives the driver three settings, 'Normal', 'Comfort' and 'Sport' (like the luxury sedan Phaeton or high-performance Golf R) which you can switch back and forth with a touch of button. We tested all three modes on the same stretch of road and the difference is immediately noticeable.

This isn't something you generally see in less-expensive sports cars, DCC makes use of valves in the shock absorbers, which adjust hydraulic fluid flow depending on the chosen drive setting and sensor data coming from the wheels and suspension. This popular sports coupe's driving dynamics remain unchanged - accurate steering, high grip levels and a well-controlled body are still very much in evidence.

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