Wednesday, June 21, 2006

2008 VW Scirocco: update

A recent article by Autoweek focused on information about the next VW Scirocco expected to arrive in 2008. It is stated that the design concept is now frozen (and that’s about time for a 2008 market introduction). The magazine presents a nice illustration by Radovan Varicak (see below) but this is not accurate on the final design. The popular red illustration by Auto-Bild is still the most reliable (see it in previous blog entry). Meanwhile, VW officially confirmed the Scirocco designation for the new model and the production site in Portugal.
Technically no big novelties are expected; the engine range and transmission choices will closely follow the ones found in the Golf V, except for the base engines. The Scirocco will be placed with a premium over the hatchback hence the lack of base engines and specifications. Maybe some updates of the Golf VI can be found on the Scirocco: gadgets such as new SAT-NAV and an improved interior in quality and design.

Interestingly Autoweek mentions inside information regarding sales numbers of 25000/year. This is very conservative. If the design presented by Auto-Bild is confirmed this thing can rise to epic proportions. Make no mistake: this is the most interesting VW car to wait for in the next 3 years.

The 2008 VW Scirocco and a near-new trend
The not-so-new trend is the following: the Golf V (and VI) hatchback is mainstream. It will not aspire to be anything more than that, unlike what happened with generation IV. But the Scirocco, Eos and Golf SUV derivatives can aspire to be premium versions of the range, with profit margins closer to the true-premium manufacturers (Mercedes, BMW, Lexus…).

This trend was not followed with the old Golf IV where almost the whole range was perceived as premium in its class. Today, with the relative failure of the Golf V, and the “einser effect” (read: BMW 1 series), such feat is not possible. Hence the importance of niche models to gain more profit and expand the range. This trend is not that new, other examples: the Peugeot 407 range vs 407coupé (the profitable niche version); Peugeot 206 range vs 206cc; current VW Passat vs future VW Passat 4-door coupé, etc. In the compact class VW is a doing a good job of creating new profitable niche versions. And the Scirocco is the most interesting of these.

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