We don’t feature a lot of new cars on this site and one reason for this is that Germany is holding back when it comes to some of its newest and most interesting products. It was just announced that VW is pulling the plug on the two-door GTI. Never has there been a better time for Volkswagen to bring back over the Scirocco than now. While the company claimed the Portuguese-built coupe would be too expensive for the market here, another big reason was fear of cannibalizing GTI sales. A sports coupe is what Volkswagen could use right now to rejuvenate its lineup in the wake of the diesel emissions scandal. Will they listen to the enthusiasts cries? Probably not. So in the meantime, have a gander at what we can’t have in the US, this 2013 Scirocco 1.4 TSI 6-speed manual. It might not be the fastest version of the Scirocco, but it’s certainly capable and a good choice for those looking to spice up their daily drive.
Tag: Mk. 5
We don’t spend a lot of time on these pages talking about the Audi TT, and that’s a disservice to what is a great car. It’s often called a pretend sports car, but dismiss for a moment that it’s not a Porsche 911 and consider what it is. Starting as a show car in 1995 (hard to believe!), most thought it would never come to market like the futuristic look of the concept. But surprisingly the look was almost identical; the slinky exterior and modern looking interior managing to well mask the Golf underpinnings. The turbocharged motor packed 180 horsepower to start, but the promise of more in the future sounded great because of the Haldex-differential “quattro” drivetrain. In many ways, it was always the promise of more power and special editions that somewhat overshadowed the 180 horsepower model, but today we have a lovely example of the lower power Coupe:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2001 Audi TT Coupe 180 quattro on eBay
There are some (quite a large number, in fact) who claim you can’t have fun on a race track in a front wheel drive car. I know quite a few of them. And in the wrong front driver, they’re likely right. Take a 1976 Cadillac Eldorado with its 8.2 liter V8 channeled through one front tire at any time and enough body roll to mimic a rowboat during Katrina and the recipe might be humorous, but doubtfully fun. However, 1976 also saw the introduction of a revolution in front drive platforms – the very first Golf GTi. Consider, for a moment, that GM’s replacement in 1977 for the thirsty 8.2 V8 was a every-so-slightly less thirsty 7.0 liter V8 (it was, after all, fuel crisis time….). That cast iron monster produced a heady 180 horsepower. Volkswagen engineers took a inline-4 with only 1.6 liters and twisted 110 horsepower out of it in a car that weighed about the same as the motor in the Cadillac. That was the magic of the GTi and it’s why it started the trend of hot front wheel drive cars that still is running arguably stronger than ever today. With clever transmissions, electronics and differentials, perceived weaknesses in the design have been nearly eliminated and most of the really trick nose FWD cars are as quick – if not quicker in some cases – than their rear-drive counterparts around a track. Therefore racing FWD cars is still a popular past time as today’s quite successful GTi is a testament to:
CLICK FOR DETAILS: 2007 Volkswagen GTi on Racer Connect
To call the TireRack sponsored “One Lap of America” anything other than a grueling competition would be a disservice to the event. On par with some of the greatest endurance races in the world, the 7-day, 3,200 mile trek around the United States has an added twist – you have to drive your race car between stages. Now, that’s something that occurs in the World Rally Championship – but they cover far fewer miles and have pro teams, pit crews and major automotive manufacturers backing them up. To say that the One Lap is a amateur-only event would also be misleading, but it is far from a strictly professional series – and where else would you see a Honda Odyssey win at anything? Combining several different classes of cars, you get the spectrum from classic performance muscle cars through modern super GTs. The winner of class “SSGT2 SB” in 2014 was a Volkswagen GTi – one of a trio of cars prepared to dominate the event. When you consider that the cars that ranked above them were super GT royalty – Corvette ZR-1s, Viper SRT-10s, Boss 302s and a plethora of Nissan GT-Rs – the level of performance from the GTis is drawn into perspective. Now the builders are moving on, leaving these seriously potent track weapons available at a fraction of their build cost: