VW Iroc Concept – Preview: Volkswagen’s Iroc Concept, shown at the 2006 Paris Motor Show, represents a modern interpretation of the classic Scirocco sports coupe that debuted at the Geneva Auto Show in 1973. VW sold over half a million first-generation Sciroccos. Like the original, the 2007 VW Iroc Concept seats four adult passengers, offers hatchback accessibility and boasts aggressive styling. Even the color harkens back to the Scirocco: the Iroc’s Viper Green concept color recalls a popular hue available in 1976. Iroc’s footprint is on par with the Rabbit hatchback, stretching just 1.2 inches longer and 1.6 inches wider. However, the Concept measures 3.1 inches lower than the Rabbit.
The development of the 2007 Iroc Concept indicates VW’s belief that a highly specialized, four-passenger retro performance vehicle appeals to today’s young car-buying populace. Iroc’s radiator-sized front grille could also signal a new look for Volkswagen, similar to the front fascia adopted by many Audi vehicles. The hexagonal-shaped brushed aluminum grille frame is “emphatically apparent,” according to VW. But, despite the prominent and aggressive styling, Iroc remains practical: 10.6 cubic feet of cargo space exists behind the rear seats, and that volume swells when the rear chairs are folded.
Lift the hood and take a look at VW’s innovative “Twincharger” 1.4-liter, 210-horsepower four-cylinder engine. First seen in Europe’s 2006 Golf GT, this turbocharged and supercharged gasoline engine provides the necessary boost throughout the entire power band. Employing a supercharger for low-end supplementation eliminates the “turbo lag” associated with many turbo forced-induction engines. Expect a six-speed manual transmission as standard, with a seven-speed DSG automatic as standard. According to AutoWeek interested shoppers can also expect to see Irocs with a 2.0-liter, 240-horsepower four-cylinder engine, and a base model delivering around 150 horsepower.
Interior features suggest both competitive and technological promise. The front bucket sport seats have integrated five-point racing harnesses with central locks. Two large blue-illuminated gauges comprise the instrument cluster. Twelve illuminated bars in each gauge cylinder create a three-dimensional visual effect. Technological innovation extends to the variety of materials utilized inside. Black leather encloses the instrument cluster. Neoprene, embossed leather and high-tech “breathing space fabric” are among the other futuristic surface treatments. As a throwback to old-school sports cars, a row of toggle switches modulates electronic functions.
The Iroc Concept, or future Scirocco, should go like the dickens thanks to a turbocharged and supercharged engine. The large hexagonal nose of the 2007 Volkswagen Iroc Concept is even more pronounced than many of the industry’s current front-end designs, a trait not necessarily compulsory to VW vehicles. However, recapturing former Scirocco customers may require this type of emphatic approach. In retro terms, Iroc is a success. Volkswagen adhered closely enough to the original to “validate” the concept, but also infused the vehicle with modern attributes capable of attracting today’s techno-savvy crowd.