The Volkswagen Scirocco is getting a modest update for 2015, but Volkswagen Group remains stubborn about bringing the iconic hatchback stateside. VW fears the mighty Scirocco would compete with the Golf and GTI in the U.S., which may be true, but hey, Germany: you can’t have everything this year.
Despite our American frustration, the Golf’s European brother looks to be better than ever, perhaps even living up to its hurricane-speed wind namesake.
The three-door hatchback features a minor facelift for the next model year, including a redesigned front fascia with aggressive splitters, new bi-xenon headlights, and a sportier ground clearance. The rear has been updated too (is that called a taillift?) with new exhaust piping, lights, and bumper contours giving it a sharper look overall.
All six engines are carryovers, but there are updates across the board, with increases in power and efficiency throughout the model range.
There are four gas units to choose from, ranging from the base 1.4-liter TSI making 123 horsepower to the larger 2.0-liter TSI that’s available in three flavors: 178 hp (up 20 hp from before) 217 hp (up 10) and a scintillating 276 hp (up 15). Each engine has up to a 19 percent increase in fuel economy.
The 276-hp version sits in the range-topping Scirocco R, an eager hot hatch that may have you planning an “extended vacation” to Germany before you know it.
Compression ignition models have been updated too, with the 1.4-liter TDI recording 123 hp and 43.5 mpg. It’s also the cheapest motor on the list, but the 2.0-liter TDI, which makes either 148 hp or 181 hp, is the most fuel-efficient. It manages an impressive 56 mpg.
Acceleration times are down across the board. 0 to 60 mph is dealt with anywhere from 8.6 seconds in the TDI to 5.8 seconds in the Scirocco R.
What’s more, the practical and fun Scirocco will get you to the Schule, Rennstrecke, or the Lebensmittelgeschäft equally well. With a car like this, you’ll want to drive it anywhere. That’s the appeal of hot hatches.
Even though we have a range of Golfs and GTIs available in America, we’re disappointed we won’t see the Scirocco stateside. The sleek R arguably beats the bulkier Golf in the looks department, but 290 hp in the Golf R ain’t anything to shake a stick at.