In the long and storied history of water-cooled Volkswagen hatchbacks, the Mark 1 and 2 Scirocco are two that captured the hearts and minds of VW enthusiasts. These were the sportier Golfs of their respective generations; a modest sport compact with a bit more flare. And when adorned with track-ready suspension and tires, they looked the part. Heck, they even look great as race cars.
Enthusiasts across the globe rejoiced when VW brought back the Scirocco nameplate in 2008. Except for the American market, where we frowned in disappointment as it would not be sold here. This means that seeing one stateside is next to impossible … unless you’ve gone through some substantial motions and spent a lot of money, as VW enthusiast Alex did with his example. Reported by The Smoking Tire, check out this Scirocco built with the help of a Mark 5 VW R32.
Alex was not only able to register his Scirocco in the U.S., but he also took it several steps further with some solid aftermarket choices. To start, there's a lot of R32 underneath the Scirocco body. Considering they were platform mates, surely everything bolts up near-perfectly. This bit is extremely important, as this is how he avoided having it crushed by one of our nation’s federal agencies. As they say, R32 underneath, Scirocco up top. Well, along with the unibody and interior, too.
According to Alex, all work was performed by HPA Motorsports, a Canadian VW/Audi powerhouse known for producing insanely detailed, masterpiece-level builds. Its main showpiece is HPA Motorsports’ FT565 Twin Turbo Kit, which consists of two GT28RS-based turbos, dual air-to-air intercoolers, and water-methanol injection added to its 3.2-liter VR6 engine. With HPA’s ECU tuning, this thing puts down 565 horsepower to the wheels. According to Alex, this is a bit lower than what it can truly achieve. Not bad for a car that originally came with VW’s 2.0-liter TSI four-cylinder, which never made more than 276 horsepower (still a nice number) from the factory.
The Mark 5 R32 only came with a DSG dual-clutch gearbox for our market, and that was retained, but it was tweaked by HPA with an upgraded clutch pack, tuning, and competition Haldex controller. Then, throw on some upgraded brakes, a Rieger body kit and exhaust, KW V3 coilovers, and BBS wheels, and it’s one of the most badass VW builds ever. More on the build can be found on Cars and Bids.
Alex says that he’s put quite a bit of coin into this ‘Rocco to get it to this level—to the tune of mid-$100,000s. He could’ve gone with something more exotic and traditionally fast, like a Lamborghini Murcielago, but for a VW nut like him, this was the best use of such funds. Personally, I fully back this strategy and would totally do something similar if I were in the same position, like a BMW S58-swapped E87 BMW 130i.
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