I see that many folks have opinions about car body names and the Scirocco's history. I offer this detailed document as a point of reference.
I have traveled the US and Europe attending many VW related events. I own three Scirocco at this time.Two of my Sciroccos are race cars and one is a street driver. I have had many others. I worked for a car design studio in the 1980's doing market research and conceptual car styling. On a regular basis people who are very involved with cars talk to me about the New Scirocco's design and ask me what is going on with it. I know the people that were used to do the marker research for the new Scirocco project.
I personally have talked to the builders and the development and tooling engineers that worked on the Karmann Ghia, Scirocco MK1, Scirocco MK2 and Corrado. They know Giugiaro and they know cars. I have recorded interviews of Giugiaro discussing the design of the MK1s. According to the real car guys the type 53 (Scirocco) platform is a Karmann coupe. The type 17 (Golf) platform is a hatch back (FWD sedan with the trunk removed). The Golf was designed as a 4 door and a 3 door hatch back. The Scirocco is a 3 door coupe. The Scirocco's roof is shorter and the rear glass is longer making it a coupe. Giugiaro attempted to make the Golf's windshield less upright (more like the Scirocco that was designed first) but the US required it to be more upright for certification.
The MK1 Golf and MK1 Scirocco have family styling, This is because Giugiaro was given the design responsibility for both cars and VW agreed that Giugiaro 's work was not to be altered or questioned. Karmann did make several changes to the MK1 Scirocco however. The Scirocco was the first A1 and Karmann's tool makers worked with Giugiaro directly on the Scirocco and many other projects including the Ace series for Audi and BMW. The Scirocco's tail is an example of a change that Karmann made. VW wanted the Scirocco to have a tail spoiler that Giugiaro did not include in the design. VW started drawing up some tack on spoilers and Will Schwebe of Karmann built a full size hatch with the small spoiler and reverse bend on the surface that the badges sit on and he presented to VW. The change was incorporated into the MK1 Scirocco.
If you want to say that the Scirocco is squashed I can see how you may think that but the Scirocco is a coupe and its design language stems from work that Giugiaro did for Maserati. A true squashed Golf would have a longer roof and a short hatch like the new Scirocco. Ask the people who designed the cars.
The MK2 Scirocco is a stretched A1 and it has BMW styling. The original design inspiration for the MK2 Scirocco came from a study that was done by Giugiaro / Karmann for BMW. The newly formed VW design used the BMW style against Giugiaro's wishes. So I say the Scirocco 2 is in no way a squashed Golf. The Scirocco MK2 design is confusing
VW wanted to rebuild it self and started an in-house design team headed up by Herbert Schafer. VW wanted to move the brand up scale and distance them selves from the Bug and the hard times of the shift to the Audi water cooled cars. The Scirocco MK1 felt inexpensive. The Scirocco 1 was known internally at VW as a Type 53, the Scirocco 2 was known as a Type 53b.
Two basic requirements applied to the re-design: a more aerodynamic body as well as more room for passengers and luggage. The work for the Scirocco 2 began at the end of 1976, and in the middle of 1977 several larger models were put together.
GG was fond of the MK1 and wanted the MK2 to look more like the MK1 Scirocco because the MK1 was a new classic. GG had been consulting with VW on face lifts. Herbert Schafer wanted the GG designed Karmann-BMW's "Asso di Quadri" design for his own. (the BMW design was a GG study that predates the Isusu) The contest began. VW had 5 short-listed proposals for the Mk2 Scirocco from different designers both in-house and out. Giugaro submitted 2 that looked like the MK1 with some updates and VW design led by Herbert Schafer submitted 3 that looked more like the Corrado and the MK2 Scirocco. Other designers like the highly individualistic Italian/Swiss/Polish designer Luigi Colani submitted designs, but they didn't make the cut. As Mr. Herbert Schafer recalls (director of VW Design) the "Product Strategie Kommission" (PSK) made the decision to go with the MK2 design on strictly objective grounds. Prof. Fiala was the chairman of the PSK and responsible for selecting all five short listed design studies. To make the pick of the crop democratic, all designs were painted the same color and finished to the same standards, and the committee at VW responsible for picking the Mk2 were not told who was responsible for each design. The chosen design looked much like the MK2 production car and BMW/Ace however VW had to call in Giugaro to re-pen the proportions on VW's design. You can say that GG designed the BMW and VW took the design and changed it and then made GG fix the design and then VW's Herbert Schafer would finish it.
The new design was to be a VW design with fixed proportions on paper by Giugiaro and would have improved aerodynamics, reduced lift, and more head room at the rear. The VW design would employ the best use of interior space for both luggage and passengers and attractive styling, while having to work with the constraints of the A1 chassis.
The MK2 is built on top of the same A1 chassis as the 1981 MK1 Scirocco. You can see the extensions in the trunk floor in the 1982 Scirocco. The body was extended to make the MK2 6.5 longer than the MK1 and the luggage capacity was increased by 20%. The headroom was increased by 0.4 up front and 0.7 in the rear. The Scirocco's 2+2 coachwork is lower and sportier than the other cars in VW's lineup. Volkswagen is the owner of one of Europe's largest wind tunnels and is justifiably proud of their results in aerodynamic research. The Scirocco is one of the stars of that research. The early Scirocco MK1 versions offered distinct advantages over the MK1 Golfs through a smaller frontal area (in most part from the lower roof line), but the second generation Scirocco is the result of much fine-tuning in the wind tunnel. Despite a longer length and improved interior headroom, the extensive use of the wind tunnel in the design process allowed VW to improve the Cd figure from 0.42 on the Scirocco 1 to 0.38 on the Scirocco 2.
Giugiaro’s rejected versions of the Scirocco MK2 were much more in keeping with the design direction set for VWs product catalog and looked more like the MK1 Scirocco. The Asso di Quadri has BMW styling and so does the MK2 Scirocco. The MK2 Scirocco is a misfit in the visual language of VW set by Giugiaro. This is why the rejected Giugiaro designs for the MK2 Scirocco look nothing like the Ace BMW or Ace Isuzu but did look like the MK1 Scirocco and all the other VWs. It was VW that choose the BMW design as the pattern to become the MK2.
So what about the 3rd Scirocco? The third Scirocco is the Corrado. It is true, the Corrado is a Scirocco by design but the name was changed because the car was too expensive for the market. When Wolsburg saw the Scirocco 3's cost over run a call was made to Karmann and they were told to make the final set of tooling for the MK2 Scirocco (production 88-92).The MK2 Scirocco was to be discontinued when the Scirocco 3 (Corrado) was released. The MK2 Scirocco continued up to 1992 and was built at Karmann as the Corrado was in production. The US lost the Scirocco MK2 for good in 89 (88 was the last model year) US Scirocco sales were slow in 88 with news of the Corrado. The MK2 16V was expensive in Europe.The Scirocco MK2 1998-92 models were reduced to just the GTII and Scala (both with low compression motors) for sale in Europe till about the same time the VR6 Corrado came out.
The Corrado (MK3 Scirocco) was styled in house at VW design under the direction of Herbert Schafer. The Corrado body was tooled and developed by Karmann as part of VW's A2 chassis development that included the B3 Passat. The G60 Corrado had improved interior trim, fit and ride comfort over the MK2 Scirocco. The 88 Corrado 16V was slower than the MK2 Scirocco 16V so VW had to drop the Scirocco MK2 16V to help sell the Corrado. The Corrado G60 8V configuration had great potential but the extra weight of the chassis hurt the car's cornering transitions and 0-60 acceleration. The Corrado was late getting the VR6 but that made the car more interesting to US customers.
The Corrado was the transition between the A1, A2 and the Corrado even had some of the A3 chassis and some B3 mixed in. The Corrado was VWs new 90's direction and the end of the Rabbit A1 past. Note the Karmann built A1 Cabi was built till 1993.
The MK1, MK2 and MK3 Sciroccos were not well supported by VW Wolfsburg, partly because the 53s were low production cars but mostly because they were Karmann cars with VW motors. Wolfsburg keeps a close eye on the Golf because that is the high production car that is made in many factories world wide. All of the Sciroccos were both developed and built in a non VW factory known for first class tooling and convertibles. If you visit VW's headquarters in Wolfsburg you will find little information, pictures or Scirocco cars on the complex. You may ask why VW made the New Scirocco look more like a Golf and it just may be because VW is know for hatch backs, not sports cars, not sedans (other than the Passat/ Jetta is a very poor seller in Europe). I think that VW had major management problems over the last 5 years and the New Scirocco project slipped though when the rest of the company was under investigation for losing money on the GOLF MK5 assembly line.
I have way more information on the Corrado design development but I know that most Vortex folks can't make through a post that has any content.
Modified by Doug T at 11:43 PM 4-3-2008