Launched in March 1981 in Europe and reaching the UK in mid 1982, the second generation of the Scirocco stretched the coupe with a hatchback concept further and was designed in-house by VW. The chassis was taken directly over from the Mk1 Scirocco meaning that the wheelbase and track dimensions remained the same as the outgoing model but the body was enlarged giving more room inside and increased luggage space: 14.6 cu ft with the rear seat in place, rising to 42.2 cu ft with the rear seat folded. Aerodynamic design was improved with the Mk2 Scirocco having a drag coefficiency of 0.38 (an improvement of 10% over the Mk1) with the high rear spoiler being an integral element to slippery shape. More details found in the design history article.
The Mk2 was subject to specification and trim changes regularly throughout its life but the alterations were largely cosmetic. In the UK, initially three models were offered, the CL, GL and GTi, all with single wiper and small rear spoiler.
The CL had a 1457cc capacity carburettor engine, four speed gearbox and 155×13 tyres. The CL specification included cloth interior, laminated glass, rear wash/wipe, heated rear window and three speed heater fan.
The GL was powered by a 1588cc 70bhp carburettor engine with a 4+E (E for ‘economy’) and 175/70×13 tyres on 5 inch alloy wheels. In addition to the CL it was equipped with fog lamps inboard of the main headlamps, headlamp washers, seat height adjusters, internally adjustable door mirrors and velour interior.
The GTi was launched with the 1588cc 110bhp fuel injection engine with a top speed of 117mph, surpassing the contemporary Golf GTi. Standard equipment included an oil to air cooler, ventilated brake discs, anti-roll bars front and rear, five speed sporting ratio gearbox, 5.5×13 ‘nine spoke’ alloy wheels, sports seats and oil temperature gauge. Unlike the GL the inner lamps on the GTi were additional high beams, with fog lamps hung under the bumper. The GTi was also identified by the legend ‘SCIROCCO’ lettering underneath the spoiler on the rear screen.
In 1983 the Scirocco was given the new range of higher torque engines from VAG and increased specification: the CL gained the 1595cc 75bhp engine, 4+E gearbox and 175/70 tyres; the GL the 1781cc 90bhp unit, anti-roll bars and alloy wheel width was increased to 5.5 inches; and the GTi the 1781cc 112bhp fuel injected engine. The GTi also gained a tilt/slide sunroof, split folding rear seat and MFA computer that monitored average mileage, journey time, oil temperature and external ambient temperature amongst other things. The oil temp gauge was therefore changed to a volt meter on the GTi. Late 1983 also saw the introduction of two windscreen wipers replacing the mono wiper across the entire range. › Continue reading
Introduced in 1974 and based around the floorplan and mechanicals of the Volkswagen Golf, the handsome Scirocco coupe was actually launched six months before the Golf to iron out teething issues before commencement of the high volume hatchback. More details found in the design history article.
The first incarnations of the Scirocco were driven by the new VW/Audi 1571cc overhead camshaft engine coupled with an all-synchromesh 4 speed gearbox or 3 speed automatic driving the front wheels and fuelled by a carburettor. Like other German cars of the 1970s, Sciroccos were relatively well equipped, the first 1974 TS models sporting 13″ alloy wheels, quadruple halogen headlamps, twin two speed wipers, reversing lamps, rear heated window, reclining front seats with integral headrests, full carpeting and a centre console all as standard specification.
In mainland Europe, the Scirocco was also offered with VW’s smaller block engines, initially the 1 litre unit and later the 1.3 engine. Externally these cars are identified by large square rectangular headlamps rather than the quad round lamps and 13″ steel wheels. These are few and far between these days.
For October 1975, the engine capacity had been increased to 1588cc and for aerodynamic reasons the twin windscreen wipers were replaced with a distinctive single arm that swept the entire screen. This would be a Scirocco feature and be carried over into the early versions of the Mk2.
In October 1976, for the 1977 model year, the TS was replaced by the GLS. The GLS was mechanically identical but featured interior and trim revisions of vinyl and cord upholstery (replacing the tartan of the TS), part carpeted door cards, laminated windscreen, tinted windows, standard rear wash/wipe and revised control stalks, steering wheel and ventilation system. Externally the GLS carried a plastic front spoiler.
A year later major external revisions were made to the indicators, wrapping them around the front wings and the addition of plastic bumpers that reached the wheel arches (replacing the chromed metal units with thier shorter end caps) and black B-pillar trims. On the continent, the exciting new fuel injected version Scirocco, the GTI, had been released and was available as a left hand drive import in the UK until the right hand drive version arrived in 1979 known as the GLi.
The GLi was powered by the same 1588cc fuel injected engine found in the Golf GTi and was reckoned to be as good, if not better than the Golf, due to the Scirocco having a lower centre of gravity and a more slippery shape. The 1979 GLi was joined in the UK by another fuel injected model, the Scirocco Storm that was a top of the range model featuring leather sport seats and door cards, plush carpeting that continued into the boot and a black instrument panel. Externally it was identified by flatter versions of the GLS alloy wheels and a large front fibreglass airdam. Both GLi and Storm also featured the GTi front ventilated brake discs. 1979 also saw internal revisions for the GLS, replacing the seats for cloth covered versions with headrests and revised patterns. › Continue reading