"Offering 261bhp from its 2.0-turbocharged engine, the handsome Volkswagen Scirocco R is instantly recognisable as the performance model with its aggresively styled front"
The Volkswagen Scirocco R is the most powerful version of the handsome coupe available, offering 261bhp from its 2.0-turbocharged engine. It possesses similar performance figures to the Renault Megane Reanultsport and Ford Focus RS. Retaining the standard model's front wheel drive layout, the Scirocco R sits lower on huge wheels and features a new spoiler and wide-set twin exhaust pipes- it's instantly recognisable as the top of the range, performance model. The aggresively styled front bumper also features new LED daytime running lights, increasing road presence. The interior has received a similar treatment, featuring sports seats, alloy pedals and lots of very high quality, soft touch materials. It's also beautifully made. For a £1,300 premium buyers can opt for the six-speed twin-clutch DSG gearbox complete with steering wheel-mounted gear-shift paddles.
Under the bonnet, the Scirocco R houses a highly tuned version of the Golf GTI's 2.0-litre turbocharged engine- the result is in an impressive 261bhp. On the road, the front wheel drive Scirocco R feels very nimble and is quick to respond to driver inputs- uprated brakes provide plenty of stopping power. The optional DSG gearbox is also very effective, especially during up-shifts. The steering is reassuringly weighty and whilst the standard Adaptive Chassis Control (ACC) suspension offers three modes: Normal, Comfort and Sport, the ride is undeniably firm.
Running on stiffer, 25mm lower suspension the R is undeniably firm. With specially tuned power-steering, the model has a sharper and more direct feel than its standard Scirocco coupe counterpart. Inside, there is plenty of space, with even those in the rear getting a surprising amount of head and legroom. The gorgeous bucket seats fitted up front are very comfortable over long distances, proving easily adjustable to suit all shapes and sizes. Solid, easy to operate controls add to a beautifully made driver-focused cabin.
Beautifully crafted inside and out, the Scirocco R has a full five star Euro NCAP test rating, with owners notably praising its perceived quality and braking performance. The R is still relatively new, but the car feels robust from behind the wheel, proving reassuringly weighty.
With a 321-litre boot the Scirocco R is not terribly easy to load, thanks to an awkwardly shaped hatch and a high loading lip. A strict four seater, the rear seats fold flat helping to liberate up to 1,100 litres of boot space. With the seats folded down, the rear of the car is at least as big as key rivals, and almost as spacious as those offered by family hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus, or Volkswagen Golf.
Value for money
Starting at £29,505, we would never describe this car as cheap. But, fitted with new front and rear bumpers featuring LED running lights, Xenon headlights and a new black grille, the model at least offers something extra. Changes continue inside with a set of distinctive aluminium ‘R’ kick plates and new seats finished in grey Alcantara. Thanks to the Scirocco's desirability you’ll also get more for it when you sell it on.
For a performance model emissions are impressive, with 199g/km and combined fuel consumption at 33.2mpg for a manual, while fitting the optional twin-clutch DSG transmission bumps this figure up to 33.6mpg. Servicing, thanks to the newly launched "Volkswagen Service Promise" is reasonable value for money with VW promising to offer some routine maintenance free of charge.