In 1976 VW unveiled the Scirocco GTI, powered by the same 1,588cc Bosch K-Jetronic fuel-injected engine found in its more famous Golf counterpart. Motor Sport raved it was the “nearest thing imaginable to a combination in a small, agile package of the different attributes of Porsche, Mercedes, Jaguar and BMW”.
VW also offered a more opulent version, badged GLi, although it was unavailable in right-hand drive until 1979. August of that year also marked the launch of the Storm, a more luxurious UK-market version of the GLi with bronze-tinted glass, leather trim and “a deep full width air dam that firmly underscores the car’s real performance potential”. The top speed was 115mph, with 0-60mph in 8.8 seconds.
At £6,687, the flagship Scirocco was over £1,000 more expensive than the more rapid Capri 3.0S Mk3. If the Volkswagen enthusiast could live without a wooden gear knob, they could opt for the GLi, described by Car as one of the best coupés “normal mortals can afford”. Another alternative was the more practical and spacious Golf GTI, but a select group of motorists favoured the Storm’s svelte image, and some 618 found a home in the UK. The Mk2 Scirocco succeeded the Mk1 in 1981.