I have fond memories of the fuel-injected Scirocco Mk1 and Mk2 cars, having owned both after a brief flirtation with a Golf GTI 1600. When you drive a Scirocco, you sit in a fairly reclined position compared with the upright Golf, and, combined with the car’s lower height and centre of gravity, this gives the impression of greater cornering stability. In real world terms, the skid-pan numbers of the two cars are not significantly different, but I have always felt a little braver cornering a Scirocco hard on a race circuit. The slight pitching motion induced by fast bumpy corners and caused by fairly soft rear dampers on all the Mkl Golf and Scirocco 1 and 2 cars was felt least of all on Scirocco 1. Sitting higher up in the Golf, you felt if more.
With more weight and overhang, the Mk2 Scirocco was less nimble than the first car. Even compared with the Golf Mk2, though, it is a quiet and refined car that is a pleasure to drive, especially in 112bhp form. It was not until I stepped back into a Scirocco Storm Mkl that I realised how much more agile the original was. The older car was also much noisier, so if you do a lot of long distance work, the progress in refinement is a welcome thing.
The 16-valve Scirocco was only made in LHD form and sold in the UK to special order. I was lucky enough to have sampled the car in Germany in 1985 at the original press launch. With its lower strut brace and uprated springs and dampers, the car was a lot tauter than a Scirocco GTI and stopped better too, thanks to rear discs. When driven back-to-back with the Golf GTI 16V, though, it quickly became apparent that even these modifications could not begin to close the gap with the new-generation chassis. But for all that, the Scirocco 16V looks set to become a classic. Although the Scirocco is still in production, the 16V was the definitive factory car and the used-car market in Germany has already begun to underline that thinking.
©Ian Kuah. This article was published with explicit permission from author Ian Kuah