Historical overview of the VW Scirocco
with a focus on the United States market

The data presented is from "Volkswagen Chronicle" by Graham Robinson and the auto editors of Consumer Guide. This 216 page book lists for only $15 and is highly recommended for all VW enthusiasts. "Volkswagen Chronicle" provides an excellent look at Volkswagen, beginning with the design of the Beetle and continuing to modern day concept cars.

In the Spring of 1970, Volkswagen contracted ItalDesign to style two new cars, EA398 and EA400. By the summer of 1971, Giorgetto Giugiaro of ItalDesign had produced two vehicles that met Volkswagens approval: the Scirocco (EA398) and the Golf/US Rabbit(EA400). Both vehicles shared the same 94.5 inch wheelbase platform, along with front-wheel-drive engine/transmissions and suspension layouts. The Scirocco arrived first in showrooms in February and March of 1974, with the Golf/US Rabbit arriving soon after.

In 1974/75, the United States market received the Scirocco with a 1.5L (1,477 cc) engine fitted with two Zenith carburetors that produced 70 hp @ 5800 rpm and 81 ft-lbs of torque @ 3500 rpm. With a curb weight of 1,940 pounds, the Scirocco could run 0-60 mph in 12.7 seconds. List price was $4,450.

In 1976, the US Scirocco received a 1.6L (1,588 cc) engine as standard.

In 1977, the US Scirocco received Bosch fuel injection and an increase to 78 hp @ 5500 rpm and 83 ft-lbs of torque @ 3000 rpm. The Scirocco could now run 0-60 mph in the low 12 second range.

In 1978, VW reduced the engine size to 1.5L (1,457 cc). This engine produced 71 hp @ 5800 rpm and 73 ft-lbs of torque @ 5800 rpm. Base price rose to $5,695.

In 1979, the 1.6L (1,590 cc) engine returned, producing 76 hp. Increased emissions and safety equipment, along with upgraded trim, resulted in the Scirocco weighing approximately 90 pounds more than earlier models.

The first generation Scirocco remained relatively unchanged during its production until 1981. Volkswagen sold 504,200 units of the Mk1 Scirocco.

1982 paved the way for a new generation Scirocco (Mk2). This more rounded, slightly longer Scirocco was designed internally by Volkswagens styling studio. Based on the same platform as the original Scirocco, the new body allowed drag coefficient to be reduced from 0.42 to 0.38. A 1.7 L (1,717 cc) engine was fitted that produced 74 hp.

During 1983, the Scirocco was fitted with a 1.8 L (1,781 cc) engine, that produced 90 hp @ 5500 rpm and 100 ft-lbs of torque at 3000 rpm. 0 to 60 times were reduced to 9.7 seconds and top speed increased to 108 mph.

In 1986, the Scirocco was available with the 90 hp 8-valve engine, along with the newly introduced 16-valve engine. The Scirocco 16V was rated at 123 hp @ 5800 rpm and 120 ft-lbs of torque at 4250 rpm. 0 to 60 times were reduced to 8.0 seconds and top speed increased to 124 mph. The Scirocco 16V was fitted with 14" wheels, recalibrated suspension, roof mounted antenna, and a monochrome body kit.

In 1987, both the 8V and 16V Scirocco's were available.

While the Scirocco was always focused towards a niche market, its popularity was still declining. US sales had declined from 13,500 units in 1985, to 6,970 units in 1987, and then to 3,750 in 1988. While 1988 marked the last year for sale of the Scirocco in the United States, European sales continued until 1992. In 11 years, Volkswagen sold 340,700 units of the Mk2 Scirocco.

Please note: I do realize there may be inaccuracies in the information above. Due to the number of changes during production, it is difficult to to have the "facts" 100% correct. I have taken the source at face value. Either way, the book I used as a source is an excellent book and highly recommended.


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