Volkswagen’s family of sporty Scirocco hatches just got bigger at the 2015 Shanghai Auto Show, where the Germans unveiled the GTS, a new trim level that will slot below the range-topping R model. The GTS will go on sale in both Europe and China later this year, with an array of new features that won’t be offered on other trim levels anytime soon. As with the rest of the current Scirocco lineup, the GTS won’t cross the pond to the U.S., remaining a Europe- and Asia-exclusive model. I might as well add it to my "Top 10 Cars We Can’t Have in the U.S." list.

The GTS revived a nameplate Volkswagen first introduced in 1982 for the second-generation Scirocco. Offered until 1985, the GTS received an 84-horsepower engine, which was later upgraded to 110 horses. Distinctive features included "GTS" decals on the sides and the golf-ball shift knob. Aimed at drivers in their 20s, the GTS was a success, with nearly 19,000 units sold in less than four years. Will the GTS be as successful more than three decades later? Keep reading to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the Volkswagen Scirocco GTS.

  • 2015 Volkswagen Scirocco GTS
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    inline-4
  • Transmission:
    6-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    217
  • Torque @ RPM:
    258
  • Displacement:
    2.0 L
  • 0-60 time:
    6.5 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    152 mph
  • Price:
    28500 (Est.)
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 Volkswagen Scirocco GTS
- image 626975

Based on the R-Line model, the Scirocco GTS features R-style bumpers front and rear, gloss-black radiator and air inlet grilles, custom side sill extensions, a roof spoiler and a sporty rear diffuser. The hatchback rides on a set of new 18-inch "Norwich" alloy wheels as standard, but customers can have the 19-inch "Lugano" rollers from the options list.

Other features that make the GTS stand out as a separate model include black-painted mirror caps, a feature borrowed from the original Scirocco GTS, "GTS" badges on the grille and tailgate, red brake calipers, and stripe decals that run centrally from the engine hood toward the trunklid. The stripes are standard on China-spec models and offered as an option in Europe.

Customers can choose between six exterior colors: Deep Black, Indium Grey, Urano Grey, Pure White, Oryx White, and Flash Red. Not too inspiring if you ask me, especially since the original GTS came in various shades of green and blue.

Exterior Dimensions

Length 4,256 MM (167.55 Inches)
Width 1,810 MM (71.25 Inches)
Height 1,406 MM (55.35 Inches)
Wheelbase 2,578 MM (101.49 Inches)

Interior

2015 Volkswagen Scirocco GTS
- image 626978

The interior of the GTS is as bespoke as they get. Dipped in a sporty combination of black, red, and grey, the cabin features a customized steering wheel with GTS logo, new seat covers, Volkswagen’s iconic golf ball gear knob, chrome trim for the door panels, and stainless steel pedals.

The interior of the GTS is as bespoke as they get.

Piano Black Lacquer inserts adorn the center console, the lower spoke of the steering wheel and the air vents inside the door panels. Red seams and decorative stitching adds a dash of color to the steering wheel, front seats, safety belts, handbrake lever, armrest and the floor mats. Also included as standard is the "Composition Colour" infotainment system, a first for the Scirocco.

More customization is possible with the optional black "Vienna" leather upholstery (also with red seams), a panoramic sunroof, and a multifunction steering wheel.

Drivetrain

Motivating the Scirocco GTS is the same 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder that powers the Golf GTI. The mill cranks out 220 PS (217 horsepower), making the the GTS as powerful as the Euro-spec Golf GTI and seven horses more powerful than the U.S.-spec performance hatch.

On the flipside, the GTS is the second-least fuel efficient Scirocco.

The GTS can sprint from 0 to 62 mph in as quick as 6.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 153 mph with the manual transmission and 151 mph with the six-speed DSG. These figures make the GTS the second-most powerful Scirocco after the 2014 VW Scirocco R.

On the flipside, the GTS is also the second least fuel efficient Scirocco, as it needs 6.1 liters of gasoline for each 100 km with a manual transmission and 6.4 liters with a DSG gearbox. For reference, 1.4 TSI-powered models use 5.4 liters of gas to travel 100 km, while the 2.0 BlueMotion versions sip only 4.1 liters of diesel over the same distance.

Drivetrain Specifications

Drive train concept Front-wheel drive
Petrol engine 2.0 TSI (turbocharged, direct injection)
Output 217 HP
Torque 258 LB-FT
Transmission 6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG
Top Speed 246 KM/H (152 MPH)
0-100 km/h 6.5 s

Prices

Pricing for the GTS is not yet available, but I expect it to fetch slightly more than the 2.0 TSI BlueMotion model, which starts from €29,050 in Germany. That converts to around $31,180 as of 2015. Since Volkswagen has yet to bring the Scirocco to the U.S., don’t expect the GTS to cross the pond anytime soon. European sales are set to commence in May 2015, with China to follow in the summer.

Competition

Volkswagen Golf GTI

2015 Volkswagen Golf GTI High Resolution Exterior
- image 548996

Although the GTI and the GTS come in different sizes, even Volkswagen knows some customers will eventually cross-shop the two. Obviously the more popular choice, the Golf GTI has the advantage of offering a five-door version, as well as more interior and cargo room. Performance-wise, the GTI and GTS are similar, so it’s all down to how much practicality you’re looking to get with your car. The GTI starts from €29,225 (about $31,460 as of 2015) in Germany.

U.S. buyers, on the other hand, are stuck with the Golf GTI, as Volkswagen doesn’t plan to bring the Scirocco in North America anytime soon, fearing that it could negatively affect GTI sales.

Find out more about the Golf GTI in our full review here.

Hyundai Veloster Turbo

2016 Hyundai Veloster Turbo High Resolution Exterior
- image 617086

If you can settle for less power and slower 0-to-60 mph sprints, the Hyundai Veloster Turbo is a pretty good option to consider. Its design is a tad more aggressive than the Golf’s, and although it’s not as well equipped as the GTI or the Scirocco GTS, the Korean hatch is significantly more affordable.

Its main issue against the GTS, however, is that the turbocharged, 1.6-liter four-banger under the hood delivers only 183 horsepower in the Euro-spec model (the U.S. version has 201 horses), which means it will take you from 0 to 62 mph in 7.4 seconds, nearly a full second slower than the Scirocco. German pricing for the Turbo model starts at €24,790 (around $26,750).

Read more about the U.S.-spec Veloster Turbo in our detailed review here.

Conclusion

Although Volkswagen describes the GTS as a "separate and especially sporty GT version," that’s not entirely true, as the new model is just a trim level that brings together R-Line body panels and added interior bits, some of which are indeed exclusive to this nameplate. That’s not a bad thing though, as the GTS could become an attractive model to Volkswagen enthusiasts familiar with the original, 1982 Scirocco GTS. That said, I don’t expect it to contribute much to the Scirocco’s annual sales target.

  • Leave it
    • * Yet another niche model
    • * Still not coming to the U.S.
    • * Competes against the Golf GTI

Press Release

Ten key facts about the Scirocco GTS*:

1. The new Scirocco GTS makes its debut as a separate and especially sporty GT version
2. 220 PS Scirocco GTS has a top speed of 246 km/h and accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.5 seconds
3. Individualised exterior with new 18-inch alloy wheels and optional GTS décor (décor standard in China)
4. Red brake callipers as an identifying feature
5. Exclusive GTS interior with black trim features, red stitching and the legendary golf ball gear knob
6. Included as standard: the "Composition Colour", from the latest generation of infotainment systems
7. Modular infotainment matrix (MIB II) available for all Scirocco models from the end of May
8. The Scirocco GTS can also be ordered with an extremely quick-shifting 6-speed DSG gearbox as an option
9. The spirit of the first Scirocco GTS (which made its debut in 1982) was carried forward into the year 2015 in the new GTS
10. With over a million sold, the Scirocco is one of the most successful sports cars in the world

2015 Volkswagen Scirocco GTS Wallpaper quality
- image 626973

Some cars live for ever because they are constantly reinvented. The Scirocco, a pure-bred European sports car, is one of these cars that is forever young. Presented at the Geneva Motor Show in March 41 years ago, it became an icon of compact German coupés. The car caught the spirit of the age: over a million units of the Scirocco have been produced since then. Last summer a comprehensively refined generation of the sports car was launched, featuring, among other things, a completely new range of engines. Building on this, Volkswagen unveils the new Scirocco GTS – a sports car with 162 kW / 220 PS – in a world premiere at Auto Shanghai. Its engine is one of the most popular in the Scirocco range because it is sharing its design genes with the engine of the Golf GTI. A turbocharged direct-injection petrol engine that is recognised as being one of the most agile four-cylinder engines in the world. It catapults the Scirocco GTS – either with a manual gearbox or with the 6-speed DSG – to 100 km/h in just 6.5 seconds. Top speed: 246 km/h (DSG: 244 km/h). The average fuel consumption shows just how efficient the engine of the Scirocco is: just 6.1 l/100 km with a manual gearbox and similarly economical at 6.4 l/100 km with a DSG gearbox.

A legendary predecessor

The first GTS was launched in 1982. There has been a Scirocco GTS before, in 1982, and that coupé was also related to the Golf GTI of its time, both technically and visually. The Scirocco was recognisable by a strikingly designed GTS stripe (which ran all round the silhouette of the car just above the sill), its distinctive sport seats and a gear knob in golf ball design. The GTI had the same sport seats (with different upholstery) and the golf ball gear knob. Today, the situation is similar. The new Scirocco GTS will be launched in Europe at the end of May, with China following in the summer. This marks the comeback of an icon, a straight-forward, mighty fast and exclusively-equipped sports car.

GTS exterior

2015 Volkswagen Scirocco GTS
- image 626974

New 18-inch wheels. The Scirocco GTS will be equipped as standard with new 18-inch "Norwich" alloy wheels; the popular 19-inch "Lugano" alloy wheels will be available as an option. The red brake callipers of the GTS can be seen through the spokes of both of these wheel options. In addition, the Scirocco GTS comes with the R-Line package "Exterieur" as standard, which includes distinctive R-style bumpers (at the front with integrated fog lamps and glossy black radiator and air inlet grilles), custom side sill extensions, a roof spoiler (also R-style) and a diffuser. The wing mirror caps are painted in stylish black and, just like its predecessor, the ’82 Scirocco GTS, the new model can be ordered with a sporty GTS decal for the body as an option (standard in China). This option features two decorative red stripes that run centrally from the bonnet over the roof and the boot (if the car is painted in "Flash Red" the stripes are black). The new Scirocco is also enhanced by 3D GTS logos in the radiator grille and on the tailgate. The Scirocco GTS can be ordered in six colours: "Deep Black", "Indium Grey", "Urano Grey", "Pure White", "Oryx White" and, as already mentioned, "Flash Red".

GTS interior

Black and red. The interior of the Scirocco GTS is also customised, of course, and dominated by the sporty colours black and red. The customisation includes:

Black headliner
Decorative inlays in "Piano Black Lacquer " in the centre console and the applications on the dashboard
GTS badges on the sill panel mouldings
Customised sports steering wheel with red seams and the lower spoke finished in "Black Piano Lacquer" (with the GTS logo)
Pedals in stainless steel
Seat covers with centre panels made of a new material (with the GTS logo at the top of the backrest) and red decorative stitching
GTS package also includes the legendary golf ball gear knob
Chrome trim package (for the wing mirror and electric window switches)
Air vents and inside door handles in "Black Piano Lacquer"
Contrasting red seams for the safety belts, the handbrake lever, the gear lever gaiter, the central armrest and the floor mats

2015 Volkswagen Scirocco GTS
- image 626975

Modular infotainment matrix (MIB). Also included as standard: The "Composition Colour" infotainment system, available for the first time in the Scirocco. This marks the debut of the second generation of the modular infotainment matrix (MIB II) in this series of sports cars.

Tailor-made customisation. As an option, the Scirocco GTS can also be ordered with black "Vienna" leather upholstery; here again the seats are customised with decorative red seams. Volkswagen also offers features such as the transparent panoramic tilt sunroof, bi-xenon headlights, a multifunction steering wheel and – as previously mentioned – the new MIB II radio navigation systems. In China the leather interior and the panoramic tilt sunroof come as standard.

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