Words by : Ray Ng, Photos by : Neo, Jie Yong
Singapore’s a society where a driver of a souped up hatchback is deemed to be a hoonigan. Hoonigan – as defined as someone who participates in any type of reckless driving including but not limited to drifting, drag racing, and burnouts. There has been countless news reports over the years battering some errant drivers, having no legal circuit here in Singapore taking part in illegal night races on the roads.
Personally I don’t condone such acts that resemble those seen on Fast & Furious, but ever since those reports were out, there is a certain prejudice against owners of such hatchbacks that actually visit neighbouring Malaysia for a track day. Likewise with Nigel, he does up his car to suit the racetracks in Malaysia – he changed 3 oversized brake kits just to make sure he gets what he wants.
It is easier to apprehend someone for having modifications that are tangible, rather than overloaded sand quarry trucks that spill their load all over an already poorly made road incomparable to Japan’s, a recipe for an accident to occur.
Therefore in Singapore, modifications have to be limited to the more subtle non obvious kind, or those which only changes the slight appearance of the car. You wouldn’t say this Scirocco is a pretty car that would draw attention from the crowd, but lets the numbers tempt you: 370bhp at 550NM of torque!
For our photoshoots, it is a ritual to start of with the still shots followed by the test drive, but we were soon chased out the building, and it makes me wonder why these people could not appreciate photography. Maybe that is why they are confined to such jobs. Let’s put that aside and allow me take you on a quick run around the car’s exterior.
All Nigel had back in 2009 when he got his baby was just a full Caractère bodykit, and some OZ ultraleggra rims. That is however, history. With that much power now waiting to crush its opponents into oblivion, braking has to be taken into consideration. The choice back then were AP Racing 4 Pots, after changing from Audi’s RS4 brakes, but currently braking power comes from 4 pot Alcons with 365mm front discs, and the rear with Scirocco R’s calipers with Tarox’s 310mm rotors.
The photographers were packing their equipment and I decided to take this baby out for a spin before we reach our next alternative shooting location. My butt found its home in the Recaro RSG-S bucket seat. It was Nigel’s first modification in his Sirocco. I wonder how do people actually drive hard even as a weekend warrior at the tracks with some stock leather seats that you keep sliding off the edges, unless you’re fat of course.
I was greeted with full OSIR carbon fibre interior, accompanied with a Defi boost gauge, Scangauge 2 to keep the number of gauges down rather than cluttering the whole dashboard, and an Apexi turbo timer to cool things down. Nothing too fanciful, each serving their purpose.
This loco Rocco was already warmed up when I exited that unwelcome premises, and it was time to put pedal to the metal. This car was an auto variant, and my daily driver being a manual, I soon found joy with the ease of driving with the paddle shifters.
They don’t seem too floppy like other pedal shifted cars I’ve driven, and there’s this distinctive fart sound every time I upshift. Shifting down the gears requires no driver skill to heel toe as the DSG gearbox matches the revs for you. In its auto setting, you can just preload the throttle and just floor the pedal and the gearbox is responsive, and very satisfying.
Other than the farting noise at every gear change, the exhaust note makes you forget all that. Breathing through the custom Pipercross intake to the MTM turbo-back exhausts a sweet tune plays out. Driving through the tunnel, the childish, irresponsible thing was to make music to the ears.
In the corners, the car is very active, but sadly these much enhancements had to be done to make this Scirocco handle well. From KW V2 coils, Uberholt front arm brace, Whiteline anti-lift kit with endlinks, H&R anti-roll bars, and a HAT chassis brace to make everything crisp. The stock car just feels like a boat.
You might wonder how this road legal car actually makes more power than it’s 24-hour Nürburgring brother is achieved by an Owens K04 turbo, Eurojet intercooler aided by a DevilsOwn water-meth injection.
All that is achieved with AWE tuning wizardy, THS engine mounts, a Forge oil catch tank and a SETRAB 19 row oil cooler. If you ask me, choosing between a Golf and a Scirocco, the Scirocco would get my vote, while the Golf has more character and practicality, the Scirocco seems to look more futuristic and refined.
We already live in a society with so much red tape, and the only racing we will get to see in Singapore is Formula 1, seemingly aristocratic like how people at the top of social stratification go to watch horse racing, and have high tea. Want a roll cage legally in your car? Then get a 911 GT3 RS. There are many cars in Singapore’s market for people who want to be sensible. But Sciroccos like this are rare, because it’s for people who don’t.