2009 Volkswagen Scirocco

That said, the 1.4-liter Scirocco might be more endearing. In relaxed driving, it's quiet, refined, and composed. When pushed hard, it instantly shows its sports car genes, its considerable handling prowess, and its strong roadholding talents. The 2.0-liter Scirocco is more energetic, but it's also noisier and a bit more coarse, as exhibited by torque steer, a tendency to follow grooves in the road, and almost overeager turn-in behavior.

Unfortunately, for American enthusiasts, choosing the best Scirocco is, at least for now, an academic exercise. Volkswagen of America still could jump on the Scirocco bandwagon, but so far, that's wishful thinking.

Q&A
Martin Winterkorn, Chairman of the Volkswagen Group

Why are you reluctant to bring the Scirocco to North America?
Because of the unfavorable exchange rate. We'd lose money at the proposed price of $17,000.

How about the 2.0 TSI Highline, which could command a premium price?
We're thinking about it. But the business case needs to be watertight - which it may be once American customers are prepared to pay more money for cars offering a lot of content in a compact package.

When will you make a decision on the proposed North American assembly plant, and which products would VW build there?
We are in the final decision-making phase. The first car to roll off the line would be the new mid-size sedan.

Where will the new compact sedan - the Jetta replacement - be produced? And doesn't VW of America also need an even smaller offering?
It may make sense to consider a second plant in Mexico. It may also make sense to import the Polo sedan from South America.

What are your strategies for the key green issues?
A U.S.-bound Jetta diesel that meets all nationwide emissions standards is on its way. There also will be a Jetta plug-in hybrid. The new small-vehicle family may include a hybrid commuter model or a ZEV electric vehicle.

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