2015 Volkswagen Scirocco GTS
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
Horsepower @ RPM:217
Torque @ RPM:258
0-60 time:6.5 sec.
Top Speed:152 mph
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.
|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)|
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.
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.
|Drive train concept||Front-wheel drive|
|Petrol engine||2.0 TSI (turbocharged, direct injection)|
|Transmission||6-speed manual or 6-speed DSG|
|Top Speed||246 KM/H (152 MPH)|
|0-100 km/h||6.5 s|
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.
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.
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.
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.