The German brand has just launched the Scirocco into the local market but has opted only for the range-topping R variant that is priced from $47,490.
There are another seven, more affordable variants of the Golf-based Scirocco available in Europe, which launched back in 2008 with the R version following about a year later.
Other models are powered by a mix of 1.4-litre and 2.0-litre petrol engines and 2.0-litre diesels, ranging in power from 90kW to 155kW. The R features the same 188kW 2.0-litre turbo as the Golf R.
Volkswagen Australia says it made the decision to import the Scirocco two years ago but that it wanted the slightly fresher, sportier version for now.
“For the time being we are not bringing the old Scirocco into the country, definitely not,” says VW Australia boss Anke Koeckler, “but I will look into the new Scirocco when it is presented in the next generation and then decide from there.
“We have to bear in mind that it is a three-door [model] and that limits a little bit the capability of selling those cars [to customers]. Here in the Australian market here we have a [dominant] five-door market and I don’t think this will change for the future.
“We have the new Golf starting next year and then New Scirocco will be formed [from that] in about three years away.”
Koeckler says VW Australia took so long to introduce the Scirocco because it was concerned about both restricted supply and the model’s impact on Golf GTI and Golf R sales.
“At the begining [the Scirocco] was not on our agenda,” she says. “With the success we had with Golf R and GTI the decision was made not to bring Scirocco over.
“[But then we had] so much feedback from customers, the media … everyone was aksing: where is Scirocco?
“So we looked again into the case and thought there is potential not only as substitution for the Golf R [three-door] but also incremental [sales opportunity] and to further [promote] the brand from a performance positioning.
“Availability was [still] a bit restricted last year, and we didn’t want to have a case again where we have a car but not availability [for customers] as we experienced with the Polo GTI.”
Koeckler says the Scirocco appeals to different customers than the Golf, and that its limited practicality will mean it won’t sell in as high a number.
“If you sit in the Scirocco R and Golf R, you feel different. You feel more sporty [in the Scirocco]. And maybe with the [Golf R and] GTI you can still have a family in the car.