VW Scirocco GT24-CNG to enter Nurburgring 24h Race

For this year's 24-hour endurance race at the Nurburgring in Germany on May 23-24, Volkswagen has readied two natural-gas-powered Scirocco models that will participate alongside three gasoline-powered 325HP Scirocco GT24s with which the automaker took a one-two victory in the 2.0-litre turbo class at the 2008 race. The two Scirocco GT24-CNGs use a modified version of the 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine that has been designed to runs on natural gas.

The result is an output of just under 300 horsepower and 350Nm or 258-lbs/ft of torque which continue to be transmitted to the front wheels through a six-speed dual-clutch DSG gearbox operated by paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

Volkswagen Scirocco GT24-CNG - Auto Cars 2011Volkswagen said that as a fuel, natural gas is particularly eco-friendly as well as very cost-effective reducing on average CO2 emissions by 25 percent compared with conventional spark ignition engines.

"The Scirocco GT24 already proved its strengths as a dynamic sports coupe by clinching class victory in its debut race last year," said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Kris Nissen. "In 2009, we are taking yet another step forwards by using two different engine concepts. We want to prove that Volkswagen offers different powertrain concepts, all of which excel in terms of high efficiency, dynamics and reliability. The Nordschleife and the 24-Hour Race provide an ideal test bed for this purpose."

The two natural gas-powered Scirocco GT24-CNG cars will be driven by Dr. Ulrich Hackenberg (D), Board Member for Technical Development of the Volkswagen Brand, and journalists Bernd Ostmann (D), Peter Wyss (CH) and John Barker (GB) as well as touring car ace Peter Terting (D), Nordschleife expert Thomas Klenke (D), former DTM driver Vanina Ickx (B) and touring car legend Klaus Niedzwiedz (D), two-time overall winner of the 24 Hours on the Nürburgring.

The team of one of the three petrol-powered Scirocco GT24 cars will consists of "Dakar" winner Giniel de Villiers (ZA), two-time World Rally Champion Carlos Sainz (E) as well as Dieter Depping (D).

The other Scirocco GT24 will be driven by last year's winners Jimmy Johansson (S) and Florian Gruber (D) as well as Nicki Thiim (DK) and Martin Karlhofer (A), while the third car's team will include formula racing specialists Congfu Cheng (CN), Carlo van Dam (NL) and Franck Mailleux (F) as well as the two-time 24-H overall winner Altfrid Heger (D).

Volkswagen Scirocco GT24-CNG - Auto Cars 2011