Comeback of a successful idea: 33 years ago at the international Motor Show in Geneva Volkswagen presented a sensational coupÃ©. It was compact, distinctive, agile, spacious and affordable. Volkswagen called it the Scirocco. The car struck the nerve of the times: More than half a million first generation Sciroccos were produced worldwide. Turning point: In August 2006 the largest car maker in Europe is showing the reinterpretation of the successful Scirocco idea in a world premiere - the Iroc concept.
New VW sports car design: Like the first Scirocco with its visual straightforwardness the Iroc also marks a stylistic turning point through its progressively designed radiator grill and a distinctive sensuality of forms. The concept of both Volkswagens is closely related, even though the vehicles are separated by over three decades: The first generation Scirocco was an attainable dream car for many people.
Because the Scirocco was an automotive superstar of the 70’s, styled by Giorgetto Giugiaro and equipped with four full-fledged seats, a proper trunk, large hatchback and a lot of self-esteem. The Iroc concept takes up this fascinating idea again. Purebred sports car instead of a classic coupé: However, in contrast to the original Scirocco the Iroc is no classic coupé, but a progressively designed sports car with an extremely long roof and a comparatively steep rear end. This has two advantages. Firstly: The Iroc features sharp proportions.
Especially when viewed from behind it becomes immediately apparent that this long roof together with side window sections is situated on very broad and powerful shoulders. The Iroc thus achieves a waist of flawless sports car theory. Secondly: The Iroc also has room in back for two adults and ample luggage. On balance the provocatively designed Iroc combines a high degree of suitability for daily use, pure driving fun and expressive design into a Volkswagen that as a possible series-production vehicle will also be very attractively positioned in terms of price. Viper green meets dark carbon: The Iroc concept exhibits numerous subtleties in detail. Paint example: Although anything but retro styled, the green used is an homage to the first generation Scirocco for which this exact shade of color was especially typical starting with the 1976 model. Then as now it’s called “viper green metallic”.
This glaring green of the Iroc is especially effective in combination with the high contrast black shades of the concept. Carbon example: The central roof element is composed of dark tinted glass; this element is supported by a structure covered with carbon. An integrated lengthwise support is also a part of these materials. The side sills of the Iroc also have a carbon surface. The structure of the sill visible from outside continues seamlessly into the interior. Sexy dimensions: With its short overhangs the Iroc efficiently utilizes a wheelbase of 2,680 mm for the space provided inside. The concept is 1,400 mm high, 4,240 mm long and 1,800 mm wide.
The light-alloy rims specially designed for the Iroc and 235 tires are implemented in 19 inch size. Twincharger and DSG: The Iroc is powered by a TSI engine, referred to in-house as a Twincharger. Shifting tasks are handled by the DSG direct shift gearbox. About the Twincharger: First employed in the Golf GT in 2006, TSI engines are currently the most efficient four-cylinder gasoline engines in the world. The combination of compressor and turbocharger shows the path to the future.
The compressor compensates for the typical powering up weaknesses of turbo-only gasoline engines at low rpms. The turbocharger in contrast packs a mighty punch at higher revs. The combination of both superchargers in large-volume production engines is the only one of its kind in the world. The TSI version used in the concept achieves 155 kW / 210 hp. In principle, a large range of supercharged engines are conceivable for the Iroc that could start significantly under 110 kW / 150 hp. But there’s one thing every engine theoretically employed in the Iroc has to guarantee: Driving fun.
Front end Design
The new design expression of the Volkswagen concept shows that the Iroc is a car thoroughly designed for dynamics. A look at the front end makes this positioning emphatically apparent. There has never been a radiator grill of this shape for a Volkswagen. By doing so the company is manifesting the decision to use different “Volkswagen faces” for specific models and segments.
This is already practiced for the Golf, for example, which features the typical Golf radiator grill in the Trendline, Comfortline, Sportline and Individual versions, but sports variations of the crest radiator grill for the sportier GT, GTI and R32 versions. Hexagon of aluminum: The sports car grill specially designed for the Iroc concept is made of light, brushed aluminum in the outer areas. The honeycombed-shaped structure of the radiator grill has been a signature of the sporty Volkswagen since the debut of the current Golf GTI. Designed as a hexagonal air intake, the grill goes all the way down to the dark front apron.
To the right and left of it there are two more air intakes for cooling the brakes. While the upper transverse web of the radiator grill is flush with the engine hood, the short side sections of the frame directly abut the xenon headlights. It is apparent here that the image of the radiator grill hexagon almost inevitably results from the connection of the headlights. The headlight casing itself is comparatively narrow and drawn up to the fenders in the modulation. Together with the radiator grill the headlights pay full honor to the Iroc’s “viper green” paint.
V-shape up to the A-pillars: As a virtual continuation of the radiator grill lines two elevated and sharply cut flanges divide the engine hood into three sections. In the middle and a bit lower the largest of these surfaces continues the V-shape of the sports car grill up to the A-pillars. The A-pillars themselves are hard to see from the front, because the windshield is extremely wide and overlaps the pillars from the front. The two other surfaces of the engine hood descend into the exposed fenders.
Whoever wipes his hand first across one of the headlights then over the fender and one of the doors will feel that the surfaces of the silhouette twist against one another. In particular the waistline above the front wheel arches and the door handles up to the upper edge of the rear lights drawn far to the side demonstrate this effect.
Depending on perspective and the way the light falls this causes the side sections to look different each time, fascinating and like a taut muscle. Endlessly long roof: Furthermore, it’s the hidden B-pillars, the markedly distinct C-pillars and the embedded rear side window here that together with the seemingly endlessly long roof line impart a completely unique presence and dynamic. The surfaces of the side windows extend the compact body of the Iroc. Still more: They reverse the proportions of classic sports cars – short roof, long engine hood.
And this shape makes the Iroc unique. Moreover, the roof spoiler integrated in this section adds even more dynamics, both functionally and stylistically. A completely unique counterpoint to the interplay of green and black of the concept is, last but not least, the sculpturally designed rear lights that are strikingly succinct, even in silhouette.
Rear End Design
The sculptural shape of the rear lights is most clearly seen from the rear. A typical and yet completely new Volkswagen rear end: The vehicle character here is determined by the relationship of the proportions between roof and shoulder sections and thus the waist. If it is sharply contoured classic sports car lines emerge.
And this is exactly what the Iroc has. Due to the roof extending far to the back, the designers were able to dramatically pull in the sides and place the passenger compartment – the roof along with B- and C-pillars – on very sexy shoulders or, better to say, hips. The already wide track has an even wider effect visually. The fact is: The sexy proportions in this case stand in stark contrast to the more tightly drawn core elements of the rear end.
Rear lights like eyes: This effect is underscored by the nearly eye-shaped contour of the horizontally arranged rear lights, which – being integrated far into the fenders – act like a continuation of the C-pillars. The clear and reduced shape of the rear window is clearly set off from the lower part of the hatch and rear apron. The general view of the broad track together with waisted roof line plus roof spoiler and a diffusor visually suggested in the rear apron imparts a markedly powerful image of the Iroc. Detail in the margins: Even the flat and trapezoid-shaped exhaust pipes comply with the dictates of dynamics, because they continue the shape of the diffusor to the outside.
As outlined, the Iroc is a four-seater. Behind the wide open (and attached just as wide in the roof) hatchback a spacious trunk with over 300 l of storage volume is concealed. The level corresponds to the original Scirocco. The trunk capacity can also be greatly expanded by folding down the back seats. The resulting flat loading surface and the folded down seat backs feature guide rails onto which a multifunctional transportation lock system can be integrated.
Car racing suitability: The extremely sporty orientation of the Iroc concept is also reflected par excellence in the interior. Under the auspices of the uniquely conceived design theme an interior was developed that was uncompromisingly harmonized for potential racing use.
And this at the racing car level as the front bucket seats with integrated 5-point seatbelts and central lock already show. However, the focus of the design lies on gauges and controls. Two large and completely newly designed round instruments form the visual center and highlight of the cockpit: Both main instruments have a bluish glow in a dark acrylic casing.
The driver looks into two cylinders with twelve illuminated bars; they create a three dimensional segmentation within the instruments. Two bright metal rings enclose both central gauges. The surfaces of the painted dashboard elements are refined with a crystal structure, similar to other parts used in the interior. Concept breaks with conventions: Generally applied, practically all materials represent a creative break with what is known and has been learned. The color and trim designers combined color contrasting materials such as neoprene in “viper green”, leather with reptile embossing (in bicolor black/anthracite) and “breathing” high-tech “space fabric” (in “titan black”). In addition to the instrument panel encased in black leather, a layer of carbon paint which is also black is used on the doors, the roof area and floors and forms the framework for the most important functional blocks.
Example of door opener: The robust handle in aluminum look design corresponds in shape and color to the compact central console. Example of gearshift lever: When idle it lies flush in a console and only after ignition moves into operational position – an innovative anti-theft protection system and fascinating visualized technology at the same time.
Finally, the following two examples from the dashboard make clear how far the love for detail and for cars goes at Volkswagen: The hexagonal air conditioning vents in matt silver mirror the design theme of the radiator grill. A excerpt from the world of great sports cars is meanwhile the row of classic toggle switches.
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