The Volkswagen Scirocco R isn’t dead in Australia, after all.
Earlier this year Volkswagen Australia confirmed it was reassessing the need for the Scirocco R sports hatch as part of its line-up, particularly given the brand had models such as the Polo GTI, Golf GTI and GTI Performance and Golf R as part of its range.
Volkswagen Australia said at the time that the future of the Scirocco R was uncertain, but now the company’s managing director, John White, has confirmed in an exclusive interview with CarAdvice that the Scirocco R will return to our shores in its updated guise in November.
“What we had indicated was that the Scirocco was under review. We weren’t sure whether we were going to take the car that was shown at the Geneva motor show. We indicated that we were exiting Up!, that we were pulling Eos out of the market, and that we were thinking about Scirocco.
“We didn’t confirm it was coming, and we said it was under evaluation,” White said. “It was pretty interesting, because after we made those comments we got a lot of feedback through social media, some from the press, some from our dealers basically asking us why we were doing that, and if there was a role for Scirocco to play.
“We’ve reconsidered, and we are going to take the car,” White confirmed.
“We’ll be announcing pricing and specs probably around the same time we’ll be making a more formal announcement around [a repositioned] Tiguan [range],” he said, with that announcement expected in October or November.
White said that the car will be limited in terms of its volume, and will likely be more niche than the vehicle it replaces. That could mean a price hike over the existing model, which was priced from $47,490 for the manual and $50,990 for the DSG version.
“Our plan will be to focus on the R at a much lower volume. We tried to really push it before from a volume perspective. Our volume aspirations were somewhat bullish,” he said.
“One of the things I mentioned to the press is I’m trying to de-proliferate our line-up. We’re de-proliferating options, specs, colours. We’re going more in to packages, things like that. That’s where the whole Scirocco thing came under [scrutiny],” he said.
However, unlike European models, the R will be sold with a low-output 2.0-litre turbo four-cylinder producing 188kW and 330Nm. That’s down on the Golf R five-door hatch (priced from $51,990) which has 206kW of power and 380Nm of torque.
However, there could be room for a more affordable, less powerful version of the Scirocco.
“I see a market,” White said of a potential budget competitor to take on the likes of the Hyundai Veloster SR Turbo and Kia Pro_cee’d GT.
“We did look at, let’s call it a non-R Scirocco, and decided, you know what, we’ll keep it in the R configuration, keep the volume tight, and the options on it tight as well, and then see what we can do.”
Stay tuned for more on the 2015 Volkswagen Scirocco R as it comes to hand.