As comebacks go, Volkswagen isn’t half bad at reigniting the flame of an old classic and turning it in to a modern day money spinner. The obvious example is of course the Beetle, resurrected in 1998 as the New Beetle, a car that even today continues to thrive off of the almost mythical cult status enjoyed by its legendary predecessor. Add to this the relentlessly successful Golf, a car as ubiquitous today as it was when it first rolled of the production line in 1974, seven generations ago. Both of these add proof to the pudding that VW certainly has the knack of taking an old dog and teaching it some nifty new tricks.
Meanwhile, perhaps slightly less heralded but equally as phoenix-like in its rebirth, the VW Scirocco has steadily attracted admirers since its 2008 reintroduction to the Volkswagen stable. The new incarnation is undoubtedly stylish, but not in a typically Teutonic sense; it could be said that there is something of a funky French feel to the design of this thoroughly German creation. Now, in time for the 2014 Geneva Motor Show, VW is preparing to shuffle the pack again with an extensive revamp to mark the 40th anniversary of the original Scirocco’s debut in Switzerland.
Although not a massive departure from the current look, externally VW have added a few noticeable styling refinements to bring the Scirocco coupe up to date. For example, you will notice the slightly more broad head lights and tail lights, as well as an entirely revised front bumper featuring aerodynamic ‘blades’ on the outer sections, borrowed from the latest-generation Golf GTI. These each house integrated indicators, daytime running lights and fog lights.
As for the rear, the entire Scirocco line-up now is now equipped with LED tail lights, while the bumper has been slightly reshaped and dropped to create a sleeker profile. Another hand-me-down from the Golf is the tailgate release handle, now integrated in to the Volkswagen logo.
The top-of-the-shop Scirocco R model retains its distinctly sportier feel, with bespoke bumpers and standard 18-inch ‘Cadiz’ alloy wheels.
However, the real reshuffle for the 2014 Scirocco comes under the bonnet. VW are throwing in six interesting new tubocharged petrol and diesel engines, with up to 19% better fuel economy than the outgoing powertrains.
For the more petrol inclined among you, a 123bhp 1.4-litre, and a pair of new 2.0-litre engines, producing 178bhp and 217bhp respectively, are available throughout the range. The performance-based Scirocco R also gets an extra dose of horse power, with its 2.0-litre engine output rising to 276bhp.
Two diesel engines will also be offered, both of the 2.0-litre variety, with either 148bhp or 181bhp on tap. Both petrol and diesel options come with a choice of six-speed manual and six- or seven-speed DSG gearboxes.
Inside, the revamped Scirocco doffs its cap to the heritage of its forerunner, with new-look dials on the instrument panel such as the chronometer and oil temperature gauges mirroring those of the 1974 model.