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VOLKSWAGEN SCIROCCO GTS: DID SOMEONE SAY SPEED?

Volkswagen’s flagship hatchback, the original Golf MK1, replaced the iconic Beetle in 1974. It went on to become Volkswagen’s best selling model and the world’s second best selling model. The Volkswagen Scirocco coupe also first appeared in 1974, sharing the same underpinnings as the Golf. In fact, the Scirocco went on sale before the Golf so VW could iron out any mechanical niggles ahead of launching the vitally important hatchback. The compact sport coupe underwent two generations of development between 1974 and 1992. After a 16 year hiatus, a third generation of the Scirocco was reintroduced in August 2008.

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And we finally got hold of it. Yes, it was much later than we would have like it but we were willing to let it slide just this once. There is only one reason for that; it was blisteringly fast.

EXTERIOR 

The Scirocco is a compact sports coupe which gives it an extremely unique shape for the Nepali market. It is a three door body that tapers to the front end where it features large air intakes and
a honey combed bumper grille. Fog lamps and indicators sit on either side of the bumper with black ribs and bi-xenon headlight units flank either side of the grille. These headlights have turning lights and separate daytime driving lights integrated into them.

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Sharp creases run from across the bonnet to the A pillars from the headlights. LED turn signals have been integrated into the door mirrors. A prominent shoulder line and narrowing window panes emphasize the side profile of the coupe that runs on Pirellis with a sporty 18 inch alloys. The roofline tapers down to a sleekly designed rear. In lieu to the sporty design of the vehicle, a racing stripe runs through the center of the bonnet and through to the rear. Wrap around rear lights look good on the rounded rear. Chromium-plated twin tailpipes look great and reflect the sporty nature of what’s under the bonnet.

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INTERIOR & FEATURES

Volkswagen have kept it relatively simple with the interiors of the Scirocco, focusing on quality and robust build instead of overflowing features. For
a sports coupe, it is incredibly spacious and allows two grown adults to sit relatively comfortably in the back seat without compromising on the passenger and driver comfort. Driving position is comfortable and you get that low slung experience on the seats that do well to provide you with good support.

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The dash gets an all black treatment with hints
of chrome and silver. It has a user friendly three spoke steering with a number of buttons to give the driver easy access to the functionalities of the vehicle. The leather grip is a great touch which is also included in the handbrake lever grip and gear knob.

Analog dials display the speed and rpm on the instrument cluster. The centre console has the knobs and buttons to control the AC and media but is considerably out dated in terms of functionality and style. In terms of safety you get six airbags along with electronic stability control, ABS, antil slip regulation and electronic differential lock.

PERFORMANCE

The traditional and less than flashy designs are more than made up for in terms of performance. Under the bonnet is a powerful engine that propels the coupe; and it lives up to the sport coupe name.
All Sciroccos have four cylinders and turbochargers, with drive going exclusively to the front wheels via a choice of manual and dual-clutch (DSG) gearboxes. We were driving the 1.4 TSI, which delivered 160bhp at 5800rpm and 240Nm from 1,500- to 4,500rpm.

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To put it in layman’s terms: it bolts like
 a rocket and pins you to your seats. It is amazingly fast through straight tarmac and corners like an agile beast on twists and turns. Braking is also good and improves stopping confidence. Where it truly excels is the 7 speed DSG gear box.

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It can only be had with the six-speed manual transmission and it is a fine
and smooth unit. The seven speed DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) comprises of
two independent gearbox units. As they move through the gears, the dual-clutch mechanism allows the engine to engage with each of the two gearboxes in turn via two drive shafts. The dual-clutch gearbox permits an automatic gear change with no interruption in power flow. Switch it into sport mode and the DSG holds on to the gears for longer, as well as shifting down earlier as necessary. You can also change gears manually and Tiptronic switches on the multifunction steering wheel make this action particularly sporty.

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Clearance is low and although it provides
an extremely sporty driving experience it
does come as an obstacle in many situations.
The ride is expectedly firm, but the adaptive
dampers in comfort mode take the initial “ sharp hit off potholes and speed humps.
Rear vision is minimal, and if you are to look
at the bright side of it, it gives you a sports
car feel.

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VERDICT

The Volkswagen Scirocco is a fast car; and it is a driver’s car. If you love to drive, you will have a very good time from the moment you switch on the ignition. It takes little provocation to get the front wheel spinning where the power is delivered surprisingly well.

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Furthermore, it is an extremely good looking machine. The sports coupe shape
is unique for our market and it is sure to
get you the attention. But that is not what you get the Scirocco for. You get it for the pure pleasure of driving, the exhilaration of blistering through tarmac and the focused energy of cornering through sharp bends.

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