The Roc in Jo'Burg

There are many reasons I love Jo’burg city - the biggest reason is that Jo’burg is filled with people who share the same passion for motoring as I do.




So picture this: I am standing at a robot – (that’s a traffic light by the way) and next to me is a bakkie with a few owes in the back. I notice some movement through the corner of my eye, standard JHB caution being exercised, and I quickly realise that 2 of the guys in the back of the bakkie have raised their cellphone cameras and taken some snaps of me. That’s odd, I think. Then it dawns on me – it’s not you dumbass; they’re loving the VW Scirocco TSI you’re driving.

It’s something I have to get used to as I spend the day with the Roc. Yep, VW have made a head-turner.

The other thing I love about Jozi is the great labyrinth of highways that connect this great city. The Roc seems to love them too. Having driven the GTi a few months ago, I have to make some comparisons. First off, The Roc seems to have a harder ride especially when driving on the corrugated M1. Secondly, and this is a big plus, the Scirocco seems to have a lot more grunt than the GTi. On paper, the two should be exactly the same, but I am telling you, The Roc is faster. I have no proof of this, but it feels much faster. The car also sounds more aggressive with a deeper burble than the GTi. This too, is a pleasant surprise.

I headed off the highways in the direction of the Cradle of Humankind, an area of Joburg that is such a pleasure to drive during the week when everyone's at work and not trekking to the outskirts to stay in their holiday homes for the weekends. There is one particular stretch of road that is generally quiet, pig free with miles of unspoilt black stuff. It is here where I open the taps of anything I drive and the Roc didn’t get anything different.

It’s not the fastest car in JHB; but it’s very capable of keeping a smile on your face all day. The power is great but not the greatest; the handling is very composed but I’ve driven better hatches; the rear seems easier to get off course than the Golf which was a welcome surprise but I still encountered a small amount of understeer when giving hell to traffic circles. Please note, I'm knit-picking here.

So it’s not the performer of choice as mentioned about the Golf. BUT….and it’s a big but – this car has 3 things that shoot it close to the top of my list:
1) The flaired rear wheel arches that extend into the cars booty are a very welcome site when sitting in the driver’s seat looking in the side review mirror.
2) Secondly, the car sounds so much more appealing than the Golf 6 GTi. It’s hard to explain but the sound is bordering on that manic, rip-roaring sound that comes out the back of a Opel Astra OPC. It’s bloody awesome.

3) And lastly - there is absolutely nothing on the road at this price that is as beautiful in the flesh as this car. It turns heads everywhere and rightly so. It's just a great piece of art.

After falling in love with this car during a whole day in the driver's seat, I decided to ask a fellow Jo'burger what he thought of it. This was at the carwash, another popular Jo'burg hangout. His words were 'It's a nice-looking car, but it probably suits gay owes more than an owe like me you know.'. Now that gave me something to think about.

That’s Jo’burg for you.