Sam Philip20 April 2009

VW gets on the gas

Natural gas-powered Scirocco to race in Nurburgring 24 Hours this May

Volkswagen Scirocco GT24-CNG

After a one-two class victory for its Sciroccos at the Nurburgring 24 Hour race last summer, VW is returning to the Green Hell next month - but this time it's packing, er, gas.

This is the Scirocco GT24-CNG, one of two natural gas-powered VW racers that will compete in the Nurburgring 24 Hours on May 23/24. The car is based around the same architecture as last year's Scirocco racer, but its 2.0-litre turbo engine has been modified to run solely on natural gas.

Which means 290bhp and 258lb ft of torque feeding the front wheels through a six-speed DSG gearbox. That's a hell of a lot of power from such a small engine, thanks in no small degree to the fact that natural gas boasts an octane rating of 130. Or ‘more than rocket fuel'.

VW says that the gas-powered Scirocco will also emit 25 per cent less CO2 than a similar petrol-powered car. But will it be quick enough to take class victory at the 'Ring ahead of a trio of factory petrol Sciroccos - and a whole bunch of race-prepped German metal? We'll find out in May. 

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