My high school physics teacher used to introduce the chapter on kinetic energy with stories about his Volkswagen Jetta. More specifically, he emphasized the slow crawl his little wagon made on its daily journey to and from school.
Unfair or not, he shaped my opinion of the Volkswagen brand: slow, plodding, and played-out. Probably the kind of car I would get after I’d gotten over my midlife crisis.
Volkswagen chairman Wolfgang Bernhard has made a bold move to make my generation reconsider our collective perspective with the 2009 Iroc Coupe. Originally dubbed the Scirocco in its initial incarnation 33 years ago, the new model brings the same viper green exterior and aggressive attitude as its celebrated predecessor. Industry experts agree that the Iroc should help Volkswagen reclaim its status as an innovative franchise that the youth can appreciate.
Early reports tell us that the Iroc should have 18″ wheels and 3 different options for engines: a 1.4 L, 210 hp 4 cylinder Twincharger, a 2.0 L, 240 hp 4 cylinder, and a 3.6 L, 280 hp V6. The new coupe will seat 4 and offer around 10.6 cubic feet of cargo space. As for the exterior, the Iroc will feature smoothly sloping angles, a prominent yet refined grille, and dark tinted glass spanning the roof and windshield.
Some hardliners may ultimately choose not to set aside their preconceived notions about Volkswagen’s pedestrian image. Others may discover that this new model constitutes an exciting introduction to an evolving lineup. We’ll have our chance to find out for ourselves when the Iroc hits North America in late 2008. In any event, VW has made this much clear about its latest project: this ain’t your physics teacher’s Jetta.
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– Posted by Taeho Lim