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Auto blogSun, 16 Feb 2014 14:58:00 EST
The Scirocco is undoubtedly one of the better-looking models in the Volkswagen lineup, but introduced back in 2008, it's now been on the market - some markets, anyway - for the better part of six years. VW is said to have an all-new replacement in the works, but before that arrives, the German automaker has announced a facelifted version with revised styling and a new engine lineup.
Set to be revealed at the Geneva Motor Show next month, the new Scirocco benefits from updated styling front and rear, high-tech exterior lighting, a revised cabin space with some throwback retro touches, some new technologies and, of course, an array of fresh wheel options ranging from 17 to 19 inches.
The updated Scirocco will be offered with a wide array of engines right from the get-go, including four gasoline options and two diesels, spanning from 125 horsepower all the way up to the 280-hp Scirocco R. The 2014 model hits European showrooms in August, but unfortunately isn't any more likely to make the transatlantic voyage Stateside than the version it replaces. Still interested? There's plenty to see in the high-res image gallery above and details in the press release below.
Three weeks ago an analyst increased projections for European car sales this year, expecting them to climb three percent compared to last year instead of 2.7 percent. That number is a postive sign after years of hard times but it turns out February was especially good, overall European sales climbing eight percent on a wave of southern European recovery and discounts - and this comes after five months of gains including January's 7.2-percent jump over the year before.
The only country of Europe's five largest markets to post a decline was France, just as it did in January, Germany, the UK and Italy posting solid double-digit numbers, Spain rocking the charts with an 18-percent increase because of a government program to encourage trade-ins.
The only brand to miss the wave was Volkswagen, dropping 0.8 percent as it watched the double-digit growth at sister brands Audi, Seat and Skoda lift the Volkswagen Group sales up by seven-percent. Peugeot overcame flat sales at Citroën to improve the group by 3.5 percent, BMW and the Mercedes-Benz/Smart combo rose by four percent, the Fiat group jumped 5.8 percent, Ford was up 11 percent, the Renault Group 11.5 percent, General Motors 12 percent and the Toyota clan by 14 percent.
Apple fans have been itching to see the tech giant flex the full muscle of its iOS operating system in an automotive infotainment system for years, which is why we turned all sorts of excited when we caught wind of the Volkswagen iBeetle. The machine is headed to the Shanghai Motor Show for a debut, and VW promised it would be one of the "first cars in the world to have a genuine integrative interface for the iPhone that was coordinated with Apple." Listen closely, and you can hear the contented sigh of a million wallets opening.
Go ahead and close those up, kids.
In reality, the iBeetle offers little more than a dash-mounted dock and a special app that shows a few vehicle functions, which is about as far from an infotainment revolution as you're likely to find. In fact, the setup is little more than a factory rehash of aftermarket items, and hardly worth a whole model debut at an international motor show. And that's to say nothing of the fact that Apple relishes in changing the shape and form of its darling handheld at every generation. Volkswagen better be prepared to keep pace with appropriate docking mechanisms for the upcoming iPhone 5S, 6, 6S, et al.