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The Volkswagen Scirocco is Dead (Again)

The long-lost cousin of the Golf is laid to rest one more time.

Back when Volkswagen named a great deal of its cars after wind streams, it birthed a model that was meant to be a bit more sportier than the Golf. Its body lines were sharper, the engineering was more complex to deliver a different driving experience, but that wasn’t enough. It’s official: Volkswagen has killed off the Scirocco (again).

Back in 1974, the first Scirocco hit shores in North America. Believe it or not, the automaker’s intent for the edgy coupe was to replace its aging bubbly Karmann Ghia. The Golf couldn’t be that replacement, after all, that was intended to succeed the iconic Beetle platform. Expecting the Golf to outsell the Scirocco as its mass-production car, VW pushed the Scirocco ahead of the Golf’s release to ensure any manufacturing complications were sorted.

The car sold quite well, despite having abysmal power and a four-speed manual transmission. So well that Volkswagen decided to re-up the model, even stuffing its 16-valve, 1.8-liter four-cylinder from the GTI into the mix. In all, nearly 800,000 units sold worldwide between the two generations. In the late ’80s, VW decided that the Scirocco would be no more, and discontinued it in favor of its successor, the Corrado.

The Corrado was everything that Scirocco could have been. It featured two of VW’s timeless motors; the supercharged G60 (which was based off of the same 1.8-liter in the predecessors), and the company’s most unique sounding engine available in a passenger car: The 2.8-liter, 6-cylinder VR6. Production of the Corrado continued until 1995, and then, darkness.

For 13 years, the Scirocco’s bloodline dried up. No clear successor in sight under either model name. Until one day, in 2008, a new Scirocco appeared. Built off of the same platform as the MK5 Golf, the new Scirocco would receive Volkswagen’s newest 2.0 liter turbo motor, as well as a smaller 1.4-liter gasoline, and a diesel option. A performance version, the Scirocco R, would also make a debut, seeing a peak of 276 horsepower, more than 3.5 times the original power made by the first generation Scirocco. But this time, the long-distance cousin to the GTI wouldn’t get to see U.S. soil, simply because it could negatively affect the sale of the GTI while not making VW enough money to justify the decision.

Today, if you attempt to configure a new Scirocco from VW Germany’s website, you’ll be greeted with a message stating that the company is no longer accepting custom orders. You’ll have to settle for the last pickings of the pre-produced stock, something which has come without warning. So if you’re in a country where they are sold, you better pick up your car quickly, as the manufacturer is purging out existing stock as we speak.

It’s not really a surprise the the Scirocco failed (again). After all, the sales numbers were less than impressive in its run, despite higher-than-average sales for models sold in the States. In fact, earlier this year it was predicted that the fall of the Scirocco was inevitable given enough time. With all of the new electric cars being built by Volkswagen and its subsidiaries, it’s possible that the model will live life as an electrified car once again. But even if that is the case, it might take some Faustian bargaining in order to bring it to North America.