Volkswagen Scirocco

Volkswagen Scirocco (1974 – 1992)

The 1st VW sports coupe

When launched at the Geneva Motor Show in 1974, the Volkswagen Scirocco was the replacement for the beautiful Karmann Ghia which although had all the right looks of a sports coupe from the 50’s and 60’s never really fulfilled it’s potential as a real sports car due to its lack of power and in some terms, it’s looks. The Karmann Ghia tended to appeal to female customers, whilst the Scirocco (code name EA398 whilst in development), designed by Italdesign in Turin, appealed to both markets.

The Volkswagen Scirocco had every bit a sports coupe based on the VW Golf floorpan, but sleeker with more performance car proportions. It held a long wheelbase of 2.4 meters, an extended hood and a short fastback. Its wedge shaped body, defined edges and low belt line, the Scirocco also held a Bürsel spoiler. The entire length of the car came to 5.85 meters. The interior was basic such as the standard 1970s vehicles.

The first three models introduced where the basic, L and TS the later was capable of 0-60 mph in just 11 seconds and a top speed of 105 mph, good statistics for 1974.

By 1976 things started to hot up with the GTI version producing 110 bhp from a 1.6 engine with the Bosch K Jetronic fuel injection system along with the GLI model with the same engine but an altogether more luxurious model with its bronze tinted windows, high-end fabrics and metallic paint.

By 1981 VW had produced the next generation Scirocco this time designed in house with more headroom and luggage space and was a commercial success. The new GTI model came equipped with a 1.8 litre 8v engine and then a 16v version which was a 120 mph flying machine but still had practicality.


Volkswagen Scirocco (1974 – 1981)

Years Produced1974 - 1981
Performance0 - 60mph 8.8sec / Top Speed - 113mph
Power & Torque 110bhp / 98Ib ft
Engine1588cc / four cylinder 8 valves
Drive-train Front engine RWD
TransmissionFour speed manual

Volkswagen Scirocco (1981 – 1992)

Years Produced1981 - 1992
Performance0 - 60mph 9.0sec / Top Speed - 120mph
Power & Torque 112bhp / 113Ib ft
Engine1781cc / four cylinder 16 valves
Drive-train Front engine RWD
TransmissionFive speed manual

Volkswagen Scirocco (1974 – 1992)


Volkswagen Scirocco (1974 – 1992)


We’re focusing on the Mk II GTI for our buyers guide and we’ll start with the bodywork. Rust on the Mk II is not as big a problem as on the Mk I with its galvanised body and chassis but do check all the usual places such as rear arches, sills especially were they meet the floor, door bottoms and the inside bottom lip of the rear hatch also check the rear beam mounting points as serious rust here could prove terminal. Engines are strong and usually reliable providing they’ve been well maintained so make sure you see the history of the car and all is well.

If the car isn’t running smoothly check the fuel filler neck as they have a tendency to rust and contaminate the fuel system, overheating can be down to a leaky radiator so check the vehicles cooling system. Gearboxes are generally reliable, but watch for sloppy changes and poor syncro when selecting second as this is quite common on old VW’s.

If when test driving you here knocks and bangs on uneven surfaces this could hint towards worn top mounts, leaky dampers of even broken springs or worn front wishbone bushes so check this. Polyurethane bush kits are available and stiffen up the ride a little.

Inside make sure the foot wells are dry and check the dashboard for cracking. Worn trim can be hard to replace so becoming a member of a Scirocco owners club might be a good idea to help you find some of these elusive parts.

Although the Volkswagen Scirocco is generally a good car with very little reliability issues the newest you will find is now over 23 years old and parts wear. But don’t let this put you off, It is after all a VW so should prove reliable.

INSURING A Volkswagen Scirocco (1974 – 1992)

Classic Volkswagen insurance is our specialty. However as an executive classic prices are very competitive indeed. At Heritage Insurance with 50 years experience behind us, we offer a tailor made package for one or more cars. We include both our in-house agreed value service and salvage retention should the worst happen at no extra cost, and with limited mileage and club members discounts our annual fully Comprehensive policy proves excellent value for money. Here are some typical examples of how little your insurance could be.

  • This quotation has been based on fully comprehensive cover, insured only to drive age 60.

Annual premium – £84.95 with a £100 accidental damage excess.

  • This quotation has been based on fully comprehensive cover, insured only to drive age 45.

Annual premium – £114.79 with a £100 accidental damage excess.

  • This quotation has been based on fully comprehensive cover, insured only to drive age 30.

Annual premium – £130.83 with a £100 accidental damage excess.

*NB: Insurance quotes are based on the following criteria:

  • The vehicle is garaged overnight.
  • The insurance has no record of accidents, claims or convictions
  • The insurer drives a main car daily and doesn’t exceed a mileage of 3000 per annum

All quotations are based on an Agreed Value of £6,000. Prices may alter depending on individual criteria.


VW have made over a million Scirocco’s. The first generation saw 504,000 cars produced. There were 291,000 2nd generation cars made and finally, the new model has found 220,000 owners since its 2008 debut. In 1974 the VW sold 24,555 Sciroccos, and in its first full year of production (1975) 58,942 units were sold. A representative survey among Scirocco buyers confirmed the accuracy of the concept embedded in the specification: 42 percent of respondents purchased the Volkswagen based on its design, 25 percent due to its sportiness, and a full eleven percent cited “economy” as the main criterion for their decision to buy.

Mark Wilkinson (Managing Partner of Heritage Classic Car Insurance) says

“Volkswagen are renown for making quality cars and always have been, this together with their popular cult status when it comes to classic cars is a long term proven recipe for success. The Scirocco is just another example of their popularity.”

INSURING A Volkswagen Scirocco (1974 – 1992)


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