• Apr 18th 2008 at 3:28PM
  • 27
Click above for a high-res gallery of the Volkswagen Scirocco.

Volkswagen will use the 24-hour endurance race at the Nurburgring in Germany to showcase the new Scirocco's sporting credentials when the event gets underway the weekend of May 24 and 25. The race-prepped version of the low-slung, Golf-based coupe will be spitting out 300 hp from its tuned 2.0-liter TFSI engine. Volkswagen didn't reveal a lot of details about the Scirocco racer in its press release (after the jump), but you can be assured that serious suspension and brake tweaks will be accompanied by all the prerequisite safety equipment to make the Scirocco competitive in the 2.0-liter turbo class. And VW isn't skimping on drivers, either. The Scirocco will be piloted by two-time WRC champ Carlos Sainz and two-time Le Mans winner and 'Ring legend, Hans-Joachim Stuck.

[Source: VW via WCF]


Stuck and Sainz in Volkswagen Scirocco on the Nordschleife

The two-time Le Mans winner Hans-Joachim Stuck and the two-time World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz are leading Volkswagen's line-up of drivers for the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring. The three factory-developed racing versions of the Scirocco, which is making its début on the race track before its market launch, will be piloted by an unusual mix of seasoned rally and circuit drivers as well as young talent and journalists at the legendary motorsport marathon staged at the "Green Hell" on 24 and 25 May.

Alongside factory driver Carlos Sainz (E) his rally team-mates Giniel de Villiers (RSA) and Dieter Depping (D) from cross-country rally sport are part of the line-up as well as Volkswagen Junior Jimmy Johansson (S) and the seasoned touring car racers Florian Gruber (D), Thomas Mutsch (D) and Francois Verbist (B). Prominent support from the Volkswagen Group will be provided to them by Hans-Joachim Stuck (A), who has been the company's motorsport representative since the beginning of this year, as well as by Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, Volkswagen board member for technical development. Other Scirocco drivers are journalists Bernd Ostmann (auto motor und sport) and Matthias Malmedie (Grip das Motormagazin)

Board member Dr Ulrich Hackenberg: "A demanding project"

"The new Scirocco's entry in what is arguably the world's toughest auto race is a demanding as well as an exciting project," states Dr Ulrich Hackenberg. "The objective should be for one of the three Scirocco teams to repeat the 2007 class victory of the Golf GTI. This would be an excellent way to support the market launch of the production model in autumn."

Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen is convinced that the drivers as well as the Scirocco will cause a sensation at this tradition-rich race. "With this fantastic drivers' squad and the racing début of the Scirocco, which has attracted a lot of attention since its unveiling in Geneva, we're offering a real highlight to the crowd of some 200,000 spectators lining the circuit and the many TV viewers during the long live coverage on DSF," says Kris Nissen. "Last year, the successful running of the Golf GTI with class victory and eighth place overall made a strong impression. Now, the Scirocco's entry means that a legend, which made its mark in racing as early as in the seventies and eighties, returns to the race track."

Three-time Nürburgring winner Stuck: "A dream combination"

The Volkswagen Group's motorsport representative, Hans-Joachim Stuck, will tackle the 24-hour race on the 25.378-kilometre combination of the Grand Prix circuit as a proven Nürburgring veteran. As many as three times – in 1970, 1998 and 2004 – "Strietzel" Stuck won this prestigious race in the "Green Hell".

"I'm proud about the fact that, at my age, I have the chance to take part in the racing début of a newly introduced car like the Scirocco. In addition, it's a great thing for me to compete alongside Carlos Sainz as a team-mate. In rally racing he's a shining light, similar to Michael Schumacher in Formula 1," says Stuck. "For me, the 24-Hour Race at the Nürburgring along with the Monaco Grand Prix, the 24 Hours of Le Mans and the Indy 500 is one of the world's four most attractive races. With the Scirocco we can compete for class victory and a good result overall. In all, a dream combination."

Factory drivers from cross-country rally sport take turn as circuit racers

For the Volkswagen factory drivers from the brand's cross-country rally programme - Carlos Sainz, Giniel de Villiers and Dieter Depping – contesting the 24-hour race barely a month after competing in the Central Europe Rally in Hungary and Romania from 20 to 26 April represents a welcome, contrasting change. All three have experience in circuit racing. Giniel de Villiers won the touring car championship in his native South Africa in 1994 as well as from 1997 to 2000. Dieter Depping clinched class victory at the 24-Hour Race at the Nürburgring in the Golf GTI last year."

"My last circuit race dates back to the 1980s at the beginning of my career," says Carlos Sainz, who won the 2007 FIA Cross-Country Rally World Cup with Volkswagen. "I've never driven a 24-hour race and am looking forward to it very much. I only know the Nürburgring from what others have told me about it and have heard that this race poses a very special challenge. I want to support the team as best I can, that's why I'm going to prepare myself thoroughly and will compete in a test race as well."

2007 class winners in the field again: Johansson, Gruber and Depping

As three of the four drivers who clinched class victory in the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring last year, Jimmy Johansson, Florian Gruber and Dieter Depping are part of the field again this year. In 2007, together with René Rast – the Volkswagen Junior will not be part of the line-up at the "ring" as he will be contesting the Porsche Supercup race in Monaco at the same time – they were victorious with the Golf GTI in the two-liter turbo engine class and, in addition, achieved an outstanding overall finish in eighth place. The racing version of the new Scirocco is based on last year's successful technology and, like its predecessor, is powered by a 300-hp 2-liter TFSI engine.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      this is gonna be great.
      now just bring the damn thing to the US!

      wow, thats gonna be like 160 laps...

        • 7 Years Ago
        I'd watch every 24 hours, because for some odd reson this has become my new dream car; theres faint a chance i could own it, i mean you can import it, right?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Bring it!
      • 7 Years Ago
      VW can suck my you know what, I do not care about any of their events until they bring the ROCCO to the U.S.
      • 7 Years Ago
      VW makes some nice-looking cars, but I'd like to see a major improvement in their long-term reliabilty, dealer network, and customer service satisfaction numbers before I'd ever consider buying one.

      That being said, I'd have no problem leasing a new GTI for 3 years...at least it would be under warranty the entire time, and when the lease is up, I would just turn the car back in.

      With VW's current "sign and drive", I noticed that their sales are up...perhaps they can get the rest of their organization going in the right direction soon.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Didn't they market this as the IROC for a while? Like sc-IROC-co? I found that insulting, this car never competed in the International Race of Champions.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The idea is great, just lose that stupid vertical rear window that Europeans are so obsessed with. Go back to the streamlined hatches of the original US Sciroccos, bring it back to the US, and we'll talk.

      • 7 Years Ago
      You know what, I'm going to buck the trend and sy that I really don't see the need for this car. A well-tuned GTI is just as sporty but more practical, and it'll likely approach the A3 in price anyway.

      If they had this in North America, I suspect it legitimately wouldn't sell well, other than to people who'd buy an A3 or GTI anyway.
      • 7 Years Ago
      The scirocco wil be just fine after the race. A mexican magazine did a similar 24h track test on a gti a while back and it took it like champ, now imagine this new gen car with some upgrades and professional drivers (wow Carlos Sainz).
        • 7 Years Ago
        This would be a great looking hybrid or EV.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I don't need an affordable hot hatch from VW. Just give me an overpriced, overweight, gas-guzzling luxo-sedan in the same niche as an Audi A6, and I'm totally sold.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yes, with the GTI, jetta, a3 and rabbit here, vw wouldn't sell enough scirocco's as they would most likely compete against... other VWs... and it's not like the 300hp tfsi 2.0 would be included, it would have the same 2.5 i5 and 2.0tfsi that we have already. maybe a vr6 but it can't have the 6 from the r32, and it can't have the bigger 6 because that would make the r32 less potent.

      i don't know anyone that isn't a vdub fan, that buys one. I like the styling, i liked the original and i liked the corrado, but i have known too many people with lemons for me to ever buy one. maybe in 10 years i can change my mind. maybe in 10 years they'll offer a US vw that i would want.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I wonder if they expect to ever sell a 2 door GTI in Europe again?
      • 7 Years Ago
      So they wont bring this over to North America because it might take sales away from the GTI???

      I wouldn't be caught dead in a City... Golf... Rabbit...Jetta. They might as well be called the same thing anyway...stylingwise they are just different configurations of the same exact design.

      The Scirocco actually has some of it's own style and I would look at it for sure. Oh well...I'll just go back to ignoring VW.
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