2010 Volkswagen Scirocco Cup - Click above for high-res image gallery

It seems like an odd juxtaposition, but "going green" and motorsports have been increasingly paired together lately. In the United States, the American Le Mans Series initiated the Green X Challenge this past season with a focus on creating the least amount of negative impact on the environment. Winning teams even get trophies made from recycled Michelin tires.

For the past several years, Volkswagen has had its own version of green racing in Europe with the Polo Cup, but for 2010 they will be making the switch to a natural gas-powered Scirocco as the vehicle of choice for the one-make series. Each of the cars will feature a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine fueled by Bio-CNG, which is produced using renewable sources like grass, corn or biological waste. The Scirocco Cup has also signed on to become a partner with DTM series, and will also pit young talent against motorsports legends at each race.

So to recap, saving the planet now includes racing the Scirocco in Europe. Where do we sign?


Related Gallery2010 Volkswagen Scirocco Cup

[Source: Volkswagen via DieselStation.com]


PRESS RELEASE:

VOLKSWAGEN PRESENTS WORLD'S MOST ECO-FRIENDLY ONE-MAKE CUP

Following the successful debut of the compressed natural gas-powered Scirocco GT24-CNG at the Nürburgring 24-hour race, Volkswagen is launching a one-make Bio-CNG-powered race series in 2010. With a CO 2 reduction of 80 per cent being achieved in combination with Bio-CNG, the Scirocco Cup will demonstrate that major innovative strides are still being made in motorsport and make it the most eco-friendly one-make championship in the world.

The Cup version of the Scirocco is designed to enable eco-friendly motorsport. Based on the TSI unit fitted in the Scirocco, the Bio-CNG-racing version of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine develops 203 lbs ft of torque and up to 223 PS. A push-to-pass system provides a short burst of increased power of 30 PS to create additional overtaking opportunities and action throughout the race. Steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts operate a six-speed DSG gearbox and, as with the road-going Scirocco R, power is channelled through the front wheels.

Fitted with a fuel tank with a capacity of 22-litres, the Volkswagen Scirocco Cup uses so-called Bio-CNG which is produced from renewable resources such as grass or a special type of maize as well as from refined biological waste. The fuel tank itself is made from a composite material and is located behind the driver's seat, protected by the vehicle's roll cage.

The stainless steel pipes and special valves required for CNG operation within the Scirocco Cup use tried and tested components from Volkswagen production models with CNG engines, and the system pressures of 200 Bar are identical to those of the production vehicles.

Commenting on the new Scirocco Cup, Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen explained: 'By clinching class victory at the Nürburgring we proved that CNG-powered vehicles not only deliver high fuel economy but also allow very sporty driving. That's why we're particularly proud about launching the world's first one-make cup with CNG-powered vehicles.'

Next year, promotion of young talent will again be a top priority and the aspiring racers youngsters will be able to compete with five motorsport legends at each of the races. These legends will come from Formula 1, DTM, rally racing and Le Mans as well as TV and show business.

Volkswagen first raced the Scirocco back in 1976 in the VW Junior Cup and the first winner, Manfred Winkelhock, went on to achieve major exploits in motorsport with Volkswagen. Since then, drivers including Niki Lauda, Nelson Piquet, Keke Rosberg, Bernd Schneider, Tom Kristensen and Michael Schumacher have all won the title "powered by Volkswagen".

The Scirocco Cup will replace the successful Polo Cup after six years and will become the DTM partner series in 2010.