Saturday, May 24, 2008

Volkswagen Scirocco GT24 debuts at Wörthersee

If you've ever lingered behind after a professional sports event, you've probably seen some of the athletes graciously staying behind to shake hands and sign autographs while others make a B-line through the fans to the locker room. If the Volkswagen group were an athlete, it would be the former. Every year the German automaker comes to Wörthersee to meet its most die-hard enthusiasts, and never comes empty-handed. You'll recall that last year Volkswagen unveiled the shockingly exotic Golf GTI W12 650 while Audi showed up with the TT clubsport quattro. This year, not only is Audi bringing both the A3 TDI clubsport quattro concept and the pre-production TT clubsport quattro roadster, but Volkswagen has rolled in to town with the Scirocco GT24, the competition version of its new sport-hatch that the German automaker will be campaigning at this weekend's 2008 Nurburgring 24-hour endurance race.

As we've reported previously, power comes from the same 2-liter turbo four that drove the race-prepped GTI to victory at the Ring last year. 321 horsepower and 251 pound-feet of torque are channeled to the front wheels (not all four) via Volkswagen's trademark six-speed DSG, only with beefed-up clutch plates, revised gearing and a lightweight flywheel. Dimensions for the racing version have grown slightly, with an extra 227mm in length for aero stability and 61mm in width to cover the 18-inch racing rims on a wide track, dropping ride height by 75mm. The interior is stripped and race-prepped with a full roll cage, Recaro seats with five-point harnesses, competition steering wheel, electronic instrumentation and fire extinguisher, all in all stripping 178kg from the interior.

While the Scirocco GT24 wows the crowds at Wörthersee and takes on all comers at the Nurburgring, Volkswagen has given us a mouthwatering, knee-buckling preview of what a road-going Scirocco R version could look like. Check out the images in the gallery below and the press release after the jump.