The Scirocco 2

The Scirocco 2 somewhere in the design / testing phase

        As early as 1976 VW began to consider a redesign of the Scirocco. Sketches were made under the designation EA 491 - a Scirocco for the eighties. Two basic requirements applied to the re-design: a more aerodynamic body as well as more room for passengers and luggage. The work for the Scirocco 2 began at the end of 1976, and in the middle of 1977 several larger models were put together. Another design came from Giugiaro of Ital Design, the designer of the Scirocco 1, whose Scirocco 2 alternative strongly echoes the Scirocco1.


        The design that VW settled on was developed internally by the VW design team headed up by Sch_fer. The Scirocco 2 which was introduced in 1981 (1982 model year) retained much of the character of the earlier Scirocco, but with smoother and more aerodynamic body lines as well as more passenger and luggage capacity. The new car was 6.5_ longer in European trim. Luggage capacity was increased by 20% and headroom was increased by 0.4_ up front and 0.7_ in the rear. Despite a longer length and improved interior headroom, extensive use of the wind tunnel in the design process allowed VW to improve the Cd figure from 0.42 on the Scirocco 1 to 0.38 on the Scirocco 2. Whereas the Scirocco 1 was known internally at VW as a Type 53, the Scirocco 2 was known as a Type 53b.


        The Scirocco 2 carried forward from the last Scirocco 1 the same chassis and suspension (like the European Golf 1, U.S. Rabbit, Jetta 1, Rabbit Convertible/Cabriolet _ both the Scirocco 1 & 2 were built on the A1 chassis). Another feature carried forward from the Scirocco 1 was the single front windshield wiper. 1982 and 1983 Sciroccos were mono-wiper, but for unknown reasons VW switched to a two wiper setup starting with 1984 model year Sciroccos.

North American Market

        The 1982 U.S. Scirocco carried forward the 1715cc 74 hp motor from the 1981 Scirocco. 1983 U.S. Sciroccos continued with the 1.7 motor until the introduction of the Wolfsburg edition mid year. The Wolfsburg edition was equipped with high level trim (leather seats were an option for the first time in the U.S.) and featured a 1781cc _JH_ motor (90hp) coupled to a close ratio transmission. The Wolfsburg edition also featured front and rear sway bars _ a feature that became standard on all US Sciroccos by the end of the 1983 model year. By 1984, all U.S. Sciroccos were supplied with the JH motor. The 8V Scirocco would feature the JH motor until the last year it was offered in the U.S. (1988). The small rear wing offered on the 1982-1983 and early 1984 models was replaced by a larger rear spoiler that ran the length of the hatch on late 1984 models.

        During model year 1986, VW (finally) decided to offer a performance Scirocco to the U.S. market _ the Scirocco 16V. Rated at 123hp and equipped with larger brakes and rear swaybar _ all mounted on stylish 14_ _Teardrop_ alloy wheels - the 5 spd only (no automatic version!) charged 0-60 in just 7.8 seconds. Externally, the 16V featured a color coded bodykit and bumpers. Despite favourable press and the introduction of the Scirocco 16V, U.S. Scirocco sales continued to dwindle and the Scirocco was dropped from the U.S. lineup in 1989 as the A2 chassis based Corrado was introduced to the U.S. market.

European Market

         In Europe, the Scirocco 2 was offered in various models from the Scirocco L (1272cc) to the Scirocco Gti (1588cc, 110hp). In the summer of 1982, the 1.6 liter motor in the Scirocco Gti (Europe) was replaced by a 1781cc (112hp) motor. In model year 1984, the model range was supplanted by the Scirocco GTX. Early models of the Scirocco GTX featured a body-kit by Kamei and a larger _bi-wing_ rear spoiler supplied by Zender. The Scirocco GTX featured the same 112hp 1.8 motor as the Scirocco Gti. 1984 was the last model year for the Scirocco Gti model, as this model was in effect replaced by the Scirocco GTX. Presumably in model year 1984, the small rear wing and the GTX only bi-wing spoilers were replaced with the larger rear wing that ran the entire length of the hatch. Also in 1984, VW began supplying the upper range Sciroccos with a body kit that Americans know as the 16V body kit.

Rear and front views of the older style GTX, exhaust and wheels are not stock


Later 8v GTX

        In June of 1985 the long awaited 16V motor was announced. The GTX 16V was initially offered with a 139hp 1.8 16V motor (code KR). This motor was not non-catalyst and featured Bosch KA Jetronic ignition. Not too long after this VW introduced a catalyst/lambda equipped version of the 1.8 16V motor. In European form, this motor produced 129hp (engine code PL) and would be the motor featured in the first high performance Scirocco offered in the US the 1986.5 Scirocco 16V. The 16V Scirocco was heavier than most comparable 8V versions this has been attributed to the heavier cylinder head (approximately 15lb. heavier than an 8V head) and a larger exhaust, larger brakes, a heavier rear anti-sway bar and a lower front suspension brace.

The US 16v    The European 16v

        As the eighties progressed VW dropped the lower end models from the Scirocco line so that by the nineties, only two Scirocco models were offered in Europe _ the GT II (1.8 liter 95hp) and the GTX 16V (1.8 liter 129hp).
The 112hp 8v Scala injection, a Scirocco DX, carried on until late 1991 in the UK.
The last Scirocco was assembled at Osnabruck on September 10, 1992. The total production for the Scirocco 2 was 291,497.

Cover of (final) 1992 European brochure (It almost looks sad...)


Credits: Doug Teulie, Dirk Schneider & Mark Peele for assembling the data and pictures.
References: Walter Wolf's book, VW-Scirocco Typ 1 und Typ 2