Volkswagen calls this striking green beast the Iroc concept, but we know it as the new Scirocco. And that’s not just because “Iroc” is the middle four letters of Scirocco – our sources say this aggressively styled concept car is effectively VW’s new coupé, due at the end of 2008.
VW is hoping that the Iroc can do what the original Giugiaro-designed Scirocco did for it back in 1974 - broadening the brand’s appeal but without the expense of engineering a new platform.
Underneath the Viper Green paint - a colour available on the original Scirocco - is the same PQ35 platform that underpins the VW Golf and new Audi TT. That means we can expect great handling, especially as the Iroc is 10mm shorter, 40mm wider and 85mm lower than the Golf.
Engines and drivetrains are likely to be the same as for the Golf, with front-wheel drive as standard, though there are rumours of a four-wheel-drive version using a 280bhp 3.6-litre V6.
Contrary to what you might expect, the Iroc doesn’t use the Golf GTi’s 2.0-litre turbocharged engine – it is pulled along by a tuned version of the Twincharger unit. While current versions of this supercharged and turbocharged engine produce up to 168bhp, the unit in the Iroc is said to produce 210bhp.
The production Scirocco is also likely to come with an uprated 265bhp version of the GTi’s engine, as used in the Audi S3. A diesel is on the cards, too – most likely a 170bhp 2.0-litre common-rail unit. Gearboxes will be either a six-speed manual or optional seven-speed dual-clutch DSG, which makes its debut in the Passat next year.
The Scirocco is likely to be built alongside the Eos in Portugal, with production estimated to be around 60,000 a year. That means demand is likely to outstrip supply, especially with prices expected to start at around £22,000.
The Iroc will be at next month's Paris motor show, and you can read more about it in next week’s Autocar, out on 30 August.
Some video footage of the car has already leaked onto the 'net. Check it out here.