VW IROC Concept unveiled!

UPDATE - high resolution photo gallery and VW press release after the jump

Volkswagen has released official images of its IROC concept that will debut at the 2006 Paris Motor Show in September. The release was prompted by scans that reached the internet today of a Spanish auto mag that had broken the embargo on the official shots. The IROC's name is a nod to the Scirocco, the sporty little VW that was sold in the Seventies, Eighties and even early Nineties and that will be resurrected as this vehicle (in production trim, of course) by late 2008. The Car Connection reports that even the IROC's colorViper Green – was available on the 1976 Scirocco, further tying the concept to the original Scirocco.

So here's what we know about the IROC Concept from various sources:
  • 36mm longer and 41mm wider than the Golf hatchback
  • 3.3 inches lower than Golf GTI
  • 2+2 seating configuration
  • five-point racing harnesses up front
  • 10.6 cubic feet of trunk space (more with rear seats folded)
  • 210-hp TSI engine
  • front-wheel drive
  • 19-inch alloy wheels
  • will reach showrooms by end of 2008
AutoWeek is speculating a choice of three engines for when the car becomes available in late 2008: a 1.4-liter, 210-hp four-cylinder Twincharger gasoline engine; a turbocharged 2.0-liter 240-hp four-cylinder; and a 3.6-liter 280-hp V6 possibly with 4Motion all-wheel drive. AW also suggests transmission choices will likely include a six-speed manual and perhaps a seven-speed DSG, with production pegged at 60,000 units annually and a pricetag of $26,000.

At first we were a bit aghast at the IROC's appearance. The concept's basic shape is that of a low-slung hatchback, and Volkswagen already has a pair of hot hatches in the GTI and R32. We were expecting a more coupe-like profile, or at least a more swept back rear end rather than the upright hatchback rear we find on the IROC. However, the pictures found at the The Car Connection put the concept in a great light and really accentuate its muscular shape, which makes us more than eager to see the car in person next month.

More pictures:

[Source: TCC, AutoWeek, LLN]


Volkswagen has revealed its Iroc sports car concept at a special event in Berlin this evening. The Iroc marks the return of the Scirocco, Volkswagen's iconic sports coupé, which made its debut at the Geneva Motor Show 33 years ago.

Even in colour, with its Viper Green metallic paint, the Iroc harks back to the Scirocco, where this exact shade was available in the 1976 model range. The Iroc has distinctive dimensions, with a very long roof and steeply sloping rear, which not only gives it an aggressive and sporting appearance, it also liberates space in the back for two adults plus luggage.

In size, the Iroc is slightly longer (36 mm) than the Golf, measuring 4,240 mm and
41 mm wider at 1,800 mm. Its wheelbase is over 10 cm longer than that of the Golf at 2,680 mm; however with its squat coupé-like stance, it is 79 mm shorter at 1,400 mm. The Iroc has 19" alloy wheels.

The design of the Iroc is distinctive and eye-catching. It uses a Volkswagen 'face' which is not yet common to other vehicles in the range, though the honeycomb-shaped structure of the radiator grille is undoubtedly a link to the Golf GTI. Another notable feature is the lack of obvious A pillars, due to the wide windscreen which overlaps them at the front.

Inside, the Iroc has four seats, as well as a spacious boot of 300 litres, which can be increased if the rear seats are folded down. Despite this practicality, the Iroc has been clearly designed inside as a sports car, with features such as front bucket seats and integrated five-point seat belts with central buckle.

Most distinctive, however, are the gauges and controls in the Iroc's cabin. Two large and newly-designed round instruments form the visual centre of the cockpit. The driver looks into two cylinders with twelve illuminated bars which create a three dimensional segmentation within the instruments.

Under the bonnet, the Iroc features Volkswagen's ground-breaking TSI petrol technology, which uses a turbocharger and a supercharger to produce diesel-like consumption with impressive performance. Designed to maximise driving fun, the concept has a 210 bhp TSI engine, but a range of TSIs, starting from under 150 bhp, are also feasible.

The Iroc combines practicality with driving fun and expressive design in a car that as a possible series-production vehicle would be attractively positioned in price.

The Scirocco was a huge success for Volkswagen, with over half a million examples of the Giugiaro-designed first generation produced. It was launched in the UK in 1974, with the second generation following in 1981. When sales stopped in 1993, 77,460 Sciroccos had been sold in the UK.

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