• Oct 7th 2009 at 2:30PM
  • 42
Malibu Barbie VW New Beetle Convertible – click above for high-res gallery

We're in Wolfsburg, Germany right now for the launch drive of the 2010 Volkswagen Golf and we've just returned from a presentation at the company's design center with Walter de Silva. We'll have more on de Silva's comments a little later, but first, we did have a chance to chat with VW of America CEO Stefan Jacoby about future products.

First up, despite de Silva's promise that VW wont do retro designs, there is a new New Beetle coming. When the NB debuted a decade ago, we lamented the fact that it officially carried the "New" prefix (unfortunately, Autoblog was not yet born so no one at VW heard our complaints). This time around it will just be called "Beetle." Contrary to some speculation that it might move to the NSF platform of the forthcoming Up! model, the Beetle will still ride on the Golf's chassis when it appears in two years. Jacoby didn't say how the next Beetle might change to meet de Silva's "no retro" statement, but it will continue to fill VW's niche quotient.

Speaking of niches, the Scirocco remains dead to us, despite the fact that Lower Saxony seems to be crawling with them. The problem, Jacoby explains, is that the Scirroco appeals to almost exactly the same buyers who opt for the GTI. Company research indicates that there would be almost no incremental sales increase with the Scirroco, instead it would just cannibalize the GTI. Why not just replace the GTI? Adding the coupe would be another niche product that requires more parts inventory, training, marketing dollars and so on. While we as enthusiasts might want another coupe, the numbers just don't add up for VW – especially when every Euro costs $1.47. Sorry.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      About time they came out with a replacement for the beetle. The ancient 'new' Beetle is one of the long standing examples of cars that make me subconsciously ashamed of my gender. Its a boil of automotive design long overdue for a lancing.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Haha, Lower Saxony is really crawling with Sciroccos, I live there/here!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I don't understand VW's strategy?

      First they tried feminizing models (Beetle, Rabbit, Jetta), thank god they're off it now (except the beetle) and now some silly excuse to not bring the Scirocco. Bring the Scirocco as a limited edition, I'm sure it will have no problems selling it..

      It's available in South Africa of all places(no disrespect)..why wouldn't it sell here?

      • 5 Years Ago
      Upon reading this my first thought was for VW to sell the GTI as a 4-door only model and sell the Scirocco to fill the 2-door niche. I see that some others have thought of this, too.

      I think VW is really missing a great opportunity. Yes, the Scirocco would cost money to bring over to the USA in the short term, but I believe that they would capture (and recapture) more customers in the long run with the Scirocco.

      Since VW has stated that they want to dramatically increase market share in NA, I hope that they rethink their decision carefully. This is one case where listening to the short-sighted bean-counters isn't the best of ideas.

        • 5 Years Ago
        One word why VW won't bring the Scirocco here…


        Total failure and it essentially the same exact body style and would probably be the same price point of the soon to be coming R20 or previous R32.
        It would never sell enough to even come close to breaking even.

        VWOA won't make that mistake again.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree with the idea of selling the 4-door GTI and carrying the Rocco in place of the 2-door GTI. Another thought would be to sell the Rocco as the .:R20 here, and keep the 4 and 2 door GTI.
        • 5 Years Ago

        The Corrado faced some very stiff competition in its segment at the time, it wasn't as fast as many and had a higher price tag. The Scirocco was successful because it looked great, was frugal with gas and was relatively inexpensive.

        I agree with your Scirocco assessment for the USA only if VW were to price it too high. Price it close to the current GTI and it would sell very well IMO.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Oh come on VW, please sell the Scirocco here. It's not the most financially ideal product, but then again, neither was the Veyron. Plus, you could save money on marketing and just borrow Jeremy's "Scirocco: It's explosive" clip and you'd be good!
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm interested in a Scirocco. I'm not interested in a GTI. Eat that, Volkswagen.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Those cars look a hair's width different.

        A lower roofline and different headlights, and some detail changes. It isn't as if Scirocco is a fastback sleek coupe, (which would instead be redundant with Audi TT...) and Golf remains it's boxy self... they look almost the same.

        They might as well cancel the GTI and make Scirocco the alternative... other than that means there has to be a whole 'nother set of body parts, a whole federalization process since it has a different name, and a handfull of different parts... which will cost all sorts of money... so they are doing the opposite. Keep the GTI, and deny the Scirocco.

        Chances are, THAT is why Scirocco, and A5 Sportback, and Avant models, and other such cars are not coming to the US market. HIGH cost of federalization for somewhat redundant or low-selling products.

        Ain't it great? :D >:-(
        • 5 Years Ago
        "It isn't as if Scirocco is a fastback sleek coupe, (which would instead be redundant with Audi TT...) and Golf remains it's boxy self... they look almost the same."

        having seen several Sciroccos driving around last winter... i can assure you that in actual real-life they don't look like a Golf at all really (not the ones on sale and on the road then anyway). impossible to mistake them. even non-car people were asking me if i saw that 'cool white VW' driving around. 'oh yeah. the Scirocco... i don't think we're getting it here. kinda lame.'

        the EOS on the other hand is almost completely 100% forgettable and basically invisible. before they were out i passed one and didn't even realize it until a few minutes later i was like 'wait a minute! the EOS isn't out yet!' ... that is how forgettable it is. i saw it again a few days later and checked it out better... hideous.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Same here. I'm not interested in a sport version of a golf at all, but I would definitely consider the scirocco. It looks like a sporty car, not an A to B vehicle with sporty parts underneath.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Why not make the GTI only in 4-door form, and leave the more sporty character to the Scirrocco.
      • 5 Years Ago
      what scares me is in the pink flamer mobile... where there should be guages for engine info... there are little photos of what appears to be family members.

      • 5 Years Ago
      Jacoby and VW should be working on their customer service first. View my VW experience at:
      • 5 Years Ago
      If their reasoning for not selling the Scirocco in the U.S. is true, why sell it anywhere? Won't it cannibalize GTI sales everywhere?

      Maybe it's time to just get rid of the GTI. I'd much rather have an awesome-looking coupe over a glorified Rabbit/Golf any day, especially if they cost and perform about the same.

      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm sure I'm in the minority, but I want a Scirocco about as much as I want a Beetle, which is to say not at all. I don't understand all the fuss about the Scirocco-- it seems like a compromised GTI to me.

      Perhaps if it were eyewateringly gorgeous-- but it's not. Or if it offered RWD-- but it doesn't. Or maybe if compared to the GTI it had more space or better fuel mileage or... again, I don't get it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I agree. The Scirocco is fugly. It looks like a monster truck rolled over a GTI. Everything stretched out of proportion. Of course I don't care for the looks of the CC either so what do I know.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Look again.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Can we get the Scirocco please? It's so sexy looking! If they think it's gonna hurt GTI sales, just make the GTI as the 5 door and keep the Scirocco to cover that 3 door segment! Plus you could charge more for the Scirocco or give it more power. VW is really dropping the ball with this just because of the stupid GTI. It's not all that special (maybe it is but in the looks department the Scirocco got style for days, the GTI just a few seconds). Is there any way we can convince them???? This is depressing......
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