Volkswagen Scirocco primed for comeback as EV sports coupe

2 months ago - 22. February 2024, autocar
Volkswagen Scirocco primed for comeback as EV sports coupe
Sports coupé could be based on new Porsche Boxster platform; dual-motor, four-wheel-drive R flagship possible

Volkswagen is studying internal design, engineering and manufacturing proposals for a return of the Scirocco coupé as an electric car with 1970s-inspired styling and a possible dual-motor, four-wheel-drive R flagship.

The proposed two-door forms part of discussions about a four-way electric sports car project that also includes a fourth-generation Porsche Boxster/Cayman, a production version of the Cupra Dark Rebel coupé concept and a fourth-generation Audi TT, a high-ranking insider has divulged to Autocar.

They suggested it could be launched by 2028 if ultimately granted production approval by Volkswagen brand CEO Thomas Schäfer.

The three-door Scirocco is envisaged to sit above the second-generation ID 3 hatchback, which is set to adopt the Golf name and be sold alongside a restyled ninth-generation version of its combustion-engined hatchback sibling when it appears in 2027.

While the electric Golf is set to adopt Volkswagen’s new SSP platform, the new Scirocco is proposed to be based on a specially adapted version of the PPE platform developed for the new Boxster/Cayman, which will be offered exclusively with electric power.

Details of the new electric sports car platform have yet to be made official, but Autocar understands that it has been conceived to support a number of differing wheelbase lengths and track widths, as well as both single-motor, rear-wheel drive and dual-motor, four-wheel-drive layouts.

As with the J1 platform used by the Porsche Taycan and its Audi E-tron GT sibling, the new platform has been developed to provide low door sills and floor height – elements crucial to a sporting silhouette.

This is claimed to be achieved by packaging the battery within the centre tunnel and behind the cabin, mirroring the mid-engined layout of all previous Boxsters. Labelled E-Core by Porsche, it was previewed by the track-focused, 1073bhp Mission R concept car of 2021.

Engineered to support the Boxster’s open-top design, the new platform is also said to offer extreme stiffness and rigidity – a factor that has made it attractive to Audi as it plans to develop both coupé and convertible versions of a future electric TT.

While the new Boxster and Dark Rebel will feature two-seat interiors, the new Scirocco and TT are expected to receive longer wheelbases, giving scope for rear seats and therefore greater practicality.

While it remains early days, the Scirocco is expected to start with roughly 300bhp in single-motor form and culminate with more than 400bhp in dual-motor guise – providing a successor to the Scirocco R, which was sold with a turbo four-pot from 2009 to 2017.

Initial design proposals for a fourth-generation Scirocco were developed early last year, shortly after the arrival of Andreas Mindt as head of Volkswagen design.

Mindt, who formerly led design at Bentley, has often referenced Giorgetto Giugiaro’s original Scirocco of 1974 when explaining his vision for the look of the next generation of Volkswagen models.

The Scirocco was among the first cars to use a sharp and low line to visually enhance the car and make it appear lower,” he said recently. “It’s a stylistic trick to reduce volume and results in a more powerful and sporting stance. That’s the secret sauce that makes a car desirable, a stylish car that everyone wants to drive.

Plans to revive the Scirocco came after newly appointed Volkswagen Group chairman Oliver Blume rallied managers to develop plans to provide the German giant with greater economies of scale for new volume-selling models through more integration between brands, component sharing and co-operative production activities.

It remains to be decided where the new Scirocco will be produced should it be given the green light. One possibility is the former Karmann factory in Osnabrück, Germany – the site where the original Scirocco was created and more recently home to Boxster production.

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