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It’s human nature to want what you can’t have. American car enthusiasts stare longingly across the Atlantic at all the cool and unusual products their European counterparts have access to.
Volkswagen is considering bringing the Scirocco back to America says Jonathan Browning, the new man at the helm of the German automaker’s U.S. division.
The previous generation Scirocco coupe was sold on these shores, but production ceased in 1992. In Europe, VW resurrected the model in 2008 but it wasn’t offered here, due to the likely cannibalization of sales from the GTI.
The sudden push to bring back the Scirocco is due to VW’s goal to triple sales in America to one million units by 2018. To do this, it is rolling out specific new models designed and priced for the U.S. market, like the new 2011 Jetta and 2012 Passat. However, it is also looking at bringing over some more emotional performance models as well as a way to help build brand recognition and brand loyalists.
In Europe the Scirocco is sold with several engines, including a turbocharged 1.4-liter, a turbocharged 2.0-liter (like the GTI) and a TDI engine. There’s also the strong possibility that VW could give the go-ahead to sell the Scirocco R (above) in North America with a 265-hp version of the 2.0T engine and AWD.
In addition, Browning has also commented that Volkswagen will look to bring back the Phaeton flagship sedan when the vehicle undergoes its next overhaul in a few years time. The $100,000 Phaeton was sold here briefly, until VW axed the model in 2006 due to slow sales.
The partnership between Volkswagen and Red Bull has always been an interesting one to us, given that high-energy isn’t exactly the first thing we think of when we hear Volkswagen. With the Beetle and the Bug being their staple vehicles for many years, VW has been working hard to change their brand image through exciting new products and partnerships.
Partnered up in 2004, Red Bull has been seen plastered all over Volkswagen’s Race Touareg team that we have to admit is highly successful. Starting this week at the upcoming Red Bull Air Race in Windsor, Canada, Volkswagen will in turn be plastered all over as a global sponsor with vehicles and logos. Perhaps Jorn Hinrichs said it best for Volkswagen’s expanded partnership, “At Volkswagen, we have a tradition of supporting attractive, customer-oriented and emotional events, such as the GTI meet at Wörthersee recently, which attracted around 120,000 visitors. Hence the Red Bull Air Race constitutes the ideal environment to present our brand and our sports models, like the Scirocco R, to a wider public.”
We can’t agree more with how great the Scirocco R is, and we’re happily inviting Volkswagen to confirm that it will be shown in North America for the first time soon. So whether it’s on the ground or up in the air, Volkswagen is on board with Red Bull in continuing to make their brand more exciting and less… punchy. Get it?
Once again the rumors were correct with VW now officially announcing Volkswagen R GmbH, a special division of the German automaker dedicated to “sporty exclusive models.” Something akin to BMW M or Mercedes AMG, VW’s R brand will oversee the development of special R models as well as R Line design packages and special “Volkswagen Exclusive” items including things like custom leather interiors and new wheel designs. Currently Volkswagen has developed two R model, the Scirocco R and Golf R.
Currently both models are only available in Europe, but the Golf R may yet see our shores. It uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine to makes 265-hp and 258 ft-lbs of torque and combines it with VW’s 4MOTION AWD setup to deliver a 0-62 mph time of just 5.5 seconds!
VW created the R division to cater to what it sees as an increasing demand for individualization in the marketplace, while also acknowledging it will help promote the sporty side of the automaker.
GALLERY: Volkswagen Golf R
Official release after the jump: