Inside, it's the VW Group at its best: demure, stylish, yet racey. That flat-bottomed wheel sits perfectly in the hands and there's enough color on the screen and dials, as well as the lacquered vent surrounds, to stave off the accusations that it's dull.
The level of equipment onboard makes even '80s science fiction look horribly dated, so Oettinger hasn't bothered with bling. This car is all about the driving experience and a four-cylinder, two-liter turbo engine with 300 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque coursing through the wrong wheels.
This engine is absolutely immense. There was even talk of a 350-hp variant, but common sense prevailed in the end. There's no limited-slip diff here; Oettinger wanted to show what you can do without that expensive addition to the arsenal, but that creates a certain type of drive as this car has almost 50 percent more power than VW planned.
Just floor the throttle and it'll light up the fronts and tug from side to side before finding grip and bolting down the road. Get it right and the Scirocco breaks through the 60-mph mark in 5.6 seconds, 1.6 faster than the standard machine, and it will keep going all the way to 168 mph.
This is a car that will seriously take the fight to supposedly more grown-up sports cars and it's a laugh riot to drive wrong and a real challenge to drive right. Under the hood, it was the usual story of a much larger turbo, and Oettinger can also fit a ram-air system to squeeze a few more horses at the top end. They upgrade the intercooler, too, and fit new intakes and their own exhaust with four exit pipes.
Kept well away from its limits it's also an easy ride, with the manual 'box and a typically light VW clutch making this the perfect town cruiser. It's harder than the Golf, and more sporting; it's that much better looking and more fun. It's almost inconceivable that the Golf outsells its sporting brother, in face.
And then we get to the deserted stretch of country B-road that we can really attack and the dual personality of this modern car shines through in an instant. The Scirocco always had fire burning in its soul and now Oettinger has thrown petrol on it.
It takes self control, measured throttle inputs and an economic style with the wheel to stop the steering and drive fighting with each other and pulling the car off-line. But driven with a hint of mechanical sympathy, the Scirocco hangs on admirably to the corner. It takes thought and technique to get the best from this kind of car, so although it's not rear-drive, this is now every bit the junior sports car.
The German firm dropped the chassis 20mm, so it digs into corners hard and fast. The base Scirocco already sits low to the ground, so this is a serious setup that rattles off big bumps, but pays for itself again and again in each and every bend.
The original Scirocco was one of the great affordable small coupes. It was a wildchild. And though the new car comes with a veneer of respectability, tuners like Oettinger can punch a hole through that veneer with disarming ease. Now VW just needs to stop it abusing its power, so that we can start.
Transverse front engine, front-wheel drive
2.0-liter I4, dohc, 16-valve. Oettinger turbocharger and exhaust manifold, intercooler, ECU remap
Oettinger lowering springs
Wheels & Tires
Oettinger alloys, 8.5x19, 255/35
Front and rear lips, side skirts
Peak Power: 300 hp @ 6000 rpm
Peak Torque: 332 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm
0-60 mph: 5.6 sec.
Top Speed: 168 mph (est.)