If you've ever lingered behind after a professional sports event, you've probably seen some of the athletes graciously staying behind to shake hands and sign autographs while others make a B-line through the fans to the locker room. If the Volkswagen group were an athlete, it would be the former. Every year the German automaker comes to Wörthersee to meet its most die-hard enthusiasts, and never comes empty-handed. You'll recall that last year Volkswagen unveiled the shockingly exotic Golf GTI W12 650 while Audi showed up with the TT clubsport quattro. This year, not only is Audi bringing both the A3 TDI clubsport quattro concept and the pre-production TT clubsport quattro roadster, but Volkswagen has rolled in to town with the Scirocco GT24, the competition version of its new sport-hatch that the German automaker will be campaigning at this weekend's 2008 Nurburgring 24-hour endurance race.
As we've reported previously, power comes from the same 2-liter turbo four that drove the race-prepped GTI to victory at the Ring last year. 321 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque are channeled to the front wheels (not all four) via Volkswagen's trademark six-speed DSG, only with beefed-up clutch plates, revised gearing and a lightweight flywheel. Dimensions for the racing version have grown slightly, with an extra 227mm in length for aero stability and 61mm in width to cover the 18-inch racing rims on a wide track, dropping ride height by 75mm. The interior is stripped and race-prepped with a full roll cage, Recaro seats with five-point harnesses, competition steering wheel, electronic instrumentation and fire extinguisher, all in all stripping 178kg from the interior.
While the Scirocco GT24 wows the crowds at Wörthersee and takes on all comers at the Nurburgring, Volkswagen has given us a mouthwatering, knee-buckling preview of what a road-going Scirocco R version could look like. Check out the images in the gallery below and the press release after the jump.
GTI Meet 2008: Gentlemen, start your engines!
World premiere of the Scirocco GT24 with 325 PS
Wolfsburg, 22 May 2008 - Volkswagen will present the world premiere of a 239 kW (325 PS) version of the new Scirocco today at the legendary GTI Meet at Wörther Lake. For two days later, a team of legendary drivers will start the 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in the sports version of the Scirocco. Thus, the new Scirocco will be in the spotlight at two cult events for car enthusiasts at the same time.
Volkswagen is presenting the racing version of the Scirocco GT24 at Wörther Lake in a world premiere. "This car doesn't need to be driven to look fast. The Scirocco GT24 with the blue-white finish sits so low on its extended wheel wells that a hand will not fit between the wheel arch and the tyre. Yet the race car remains unmistakeably a Scirocco from every angle. Just even wider, even longer and even lower," says Volkswagen Chairman for Development Dr Ulrich Hackenberg, who will not be passing up the opportunity to sit behind the wheel in the race in the Eiffel. The 325 PS Scirocco will also be driven during the race by legendary drivers like rally world champion Carlos Sainz and Hans-Joachim Stuck, three-time winner of the 24-hour Nürburgring race. Incidentally, "Striezel" Stuck won the very first 24-hour race at the Nürburgring in 1970. Now, thirty-eight years later, the Scirocco GT24 is competing. It draws its power from only two litres displacement: the 16-valve direct injection engine with a turbocharger and intercooler delivers its maximum torque of 340 Newton metres beginning from only 2,100 rpm. Gear changes are executed by a dual clutch gearbox (DSG), which is also available for the production model.
The idea of an affordable dream car was born in the 70s with the first Scirocco. The success of this two-seat sport coupe continued for nearly 20 years, during which time more than 360,000 Sciroccos were built. The enthusiasm for this car has been uninterrupted since Volkswagen presented the new version of the Scirocco at this year's Geneva Motor Show. The new car appears to have struck a chord with car buyers and will pick up with the success of the original Scirocco which, in the mean time, has developed into a cult car.