Thursday, May 29, 2008

Hot Scirocco is go, go, go

Racing really does improve the breed! VW unveils stripped-out comptition version of new Scirocco.

Is this the car that will confirm Volkswagen’s place in the supercar elite? Meet the Scirocco GT 24 Concept.

Taking its inspiration from a trio of special motorsport Sciroccos, the GT 24 is the ultimate roadgoing version of the company’s soon-to-be-released coupé. And it points towards a hot Scirocco R, which is expected to break cover in 2009.

The car was unveiled at the annual Worthersee Tour tuning show in Austria, alongside the new Club-sport editions of the Audi TT and A3 (Top Story, Issue 1,013). Power comes from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder TSI petrol engine, which produces an impressive 296bhp at 6,500rpm. A six-speed twin-clutch DSG transmission sends drive to the front wheels.

But it’s not only under the bonnet where VW’s engineers have been busy. The body has been made 61mm wider than the standard Scirocco’s to stretch over the GT 24’s ext-ended track. Lower and stiffer racing dampers drop the ride height by 75mm, providing the car with an aggressive, nose-down stance.

Stopping power comes courtesy of massive six-piston brakes – 362mm in diameter at the front and 255mm at the rear – housed inside the lightweight 18-inch alloys. What’s more, the standard Scirocco’s interior has been replaced entirely.

Gone is the Golf-inspired dash, and in comes carbon panelling, plus a special square racing wheel, a bank of toggle switches next to the gearlever and a digital instrument binnacle.

Two Recaro bucket seats hold driver and passenger firmly in position. All in all, the changes save 178kg of weight over the standard Scirocco, which means that the GT 24 tips the scales at a feather-light 1,120kg. Also on display at Worthersee was a GTI Concept developed by students at VW Coaching, the firm’s staff training arm.

It has an extra-wide bodykit, Lamborghini-style gull-wing doors, and it promises amazing pace, too. The 2.0T FSI engine offers a huge 349bhp – that’s 154bhp more than a standard GTI. It also gets 4MOTION all-wheel drive and 20-inch alloys.

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