Black as Night – André Sinzinger’s Volkswagen Scirocco R – Photography by Mike Crawat

The American market has never been all too hot on the whole “hatchback” thing. We’ve got a handful, of course, but chances are the first hatchback to come to mind for most Americans will be an EG or EK Honda Civic. That’s likely to be followed by the Golf and GTi. Past that, it’s anyone’s guess. For one reason or another, it never caught on, and if you ask me, it’s a tragedy. Not because we need more GTis on the road, but because of the cars automakers precluded us from getting. Over the years, countless cars have come and gone, each forbidden from landing on American shores: the Escort Cosworth RS, the Sierra RS Cosworth, the R5 Turbo, the 205 Turbo 16, the Delta HF Integrale Evo… and the list goes on. What they’ve got in common, of course, is that they’re all hot hatches. 

It’s a term that originated in the 1980s, and it’s held on tight ever since. It followed with the Clio V6 in the early 2000s, and 2009’s return of the Focus RS set the automotive world ablaze once again. One of the more recent cars that led Americans to lament the state of affairs is Europe’s third-generation Volkswagen Scirocco. Launched in 2008, the hatchback brought the Scirocco namesake back to life. 2009’s Scirocco R upped the ante, too, bringing an eventual 275 horsepower to the table, and it sent power to all four wheels. A hot hatch, indeed.

Stateside, though, we never got them. Neither the R nor the base model were suited for the American’s general distaste for anything other than wildly lame crossovers and SUVs. Some of us, though, have been drooling ever since. Bringing André Sinzinger’s example to the table only amplifies the sentiments.

Underneath, André began with the best the platform offers: the R model. Tidbits here and there like a carbon intake and a custom exhaust give embrace the “R” ethos, but the core of André’s build is all about style. Needless to say, he’s nailed it.

From a distance, André’s build encompasses the “blacked out” mentality. Gloss black paint leaves the Scirocco’s lines highlighted only by traces of reflections, and a black set of classic BBS RSIIs are hunkered under the fenders for good measure. Air Lift Performance struts and management are to thank for the car’s uncompromising stance, and the wheel and tire package as a whole is pushed to the limit. With tires that sit inboard and wheels that sit snugged up against the outside of the bodywork, it’s a setup that is as dialed as they come. Thankfully, the air suspension means no damaged, buckled, or chewed up arches to boot.

At a closer look, the Scirocco does have a bit of color, though. The red lenses of the tail lights are accented by touches of red throughout. Red wheel center caps and wheel hardware would be a bit garish on their own, but red suede and stitched headlamp housings begin to tell a new story and bring about a bit of a Louboutin vibe. Red is revealed upon the dash that lurks behind the windscreen: it’s a glance into the car’s greenhouse though that really seals the deal.

André’s Scirocco sports an interior buildout that is as mint as they come. Red suede and leather Recaros, complete with white piping, stand as the centerpiece for an absolutely jaw-dropping interior buildout. Red leather and suede clad everything that isn’t clad in carbon, with white stitching adding a touch of contrast around the edges. The dash, the wheel, the console, and even the gas cap and hatch shock have all received an incredible upholstery treatment. If there’s one area the Europeans have always overshadowed Stateside builds, its on the inside, and André’s is a clear example.

Herb Interiors can be thanked for the one-off interior work, which is situated around a bolt-in roll cage and a slew of custom carbon work. There’s nothing left to be desired where it counts.

This somewhat-unassuming Scirocco is sure to leave an impression upon anyone whom takes a second glance. In our case, it’ll be a third or a fourth look before we’re even remotely satisfied. It goes to show, sometimes, it truly is all in the details.


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