The Volkswagen Scirocco was created in 1974 to replace the Karmann Ghia. It was introduced to the United States in 1975. Designated internally by Volkswagen as Type 53, the Scirocco retained its initial body style until 1981. 1982 featured a dramatic restyling of the Scirocco (Type 53B or MKII) with rounded body style, though it featured the same A1 chassis (shared with the VW Rabbit and early VW Jetta). Sale of the MKII Sciroccos continued until 1988 in the United States, 1989 in Canada, and 1992 in Germany, and was replaced by the Volkswagen VW Corrado.

Like the smaller Golf, the Scirocco was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro.