IT’S TOUGH being popular one moment and an outcast the next. The phenomenon isn’t confined to children in the school playground and television presenters or pop stars caught in a scandal; cars suffer from the problem, too. That’s why Volkswagen is trying to add a bit of sparkle to its Scirocco coupé with a GTS version that it hopes will take some of the limelight back from the latest Audi TT – its fiercest competitor.
Launched at the Shanghai motor show, the GTS is a something of a cosmetic makeover for the German coupé, as the 2-litre 217bhp TSI engine and chassis components are the same as those in the highest-spec standard GT version. That means it can accelerate from 0 to 62mph in 6.5 seconds and has a top speed of 152mph.
It gains optional chunky bumpers and a roof spoiler that mimic the bodywork of the more powerful and more expensive R model, custom side sill extensions and a go-faster stripe that runs along its mane from bonnet to boot. The latter is said to hark back to the original Scirocco GTS of 1982.
Inside are customised seats and steering wheel with GTS logos and – on the seats – more styling stripes. A nice touch is a gearlever that is capped by a golf-ball-style knob for models with the standard, manual gearbox. A 6-speed DSG automatic transmission is optional.
Volkswagen says the GTS will be priced below the R version of the Scirocco, which costs from £32,580, and should be on sale by the summer.