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New VW Scirocco takes a bow

New VW Scirocco takes a bow.

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When we saw the Volkswagen IROC concept at the Paris Motor Show in 2006, we knew that Volkswagen had a two-door sports hatch up its sleeve, and today the wraps came off. The 2009 Scirocco (IROC was fortunately dispensed with) revives the nameplate after a 16-year absence, and from the look of the display models, the new car has been worth the wait. The Scirocco retains some of the side-profile design cues of the IROC with a rising beltline, plus a hidden B-pillar and a meaty C-pillar holding up a swooping roof.

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At the front end, the new Scirocco seems to have taken a leaf out of the Audi R8 design book as its angry-looking dual-headlamp arrangement and an air intake above the slim bumper run parallel to the radiator grille and fog lamps below.

The drivetrain options are also Audi-related as the Scirocco is available with the same 2-liter, 200-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder plant found in the Audi A4. Other engine options include a less powerful turbo-four, a non-turbocharged four-cylinder plant, and a turbo diesel. Other notables include an adaptive chassis, which can be set to one of three modes depending on how responsive the driver wants the steering and suspension, and VW's DSG dual-clutch transmission. Customers in the U.S. shouldn't plan on putting their Golf GTIs up for sale, however. The Scirocco is intended as a Europe-only model, unless VW changes its mind.

Click here for our coverage of the 2008 Geneva auto show.