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Volkswagen Scirocco R 2.0 TSI DSG

Click to view picture gallery“The hottest ever Scirocco
the R has arrived in the UK in
  time for summer. With 0-62mph
  acceleration in 5.8 seconds,
  the R will guarantee a
hot drive
  whatever the British weather

THE SCIROCCO R's heart is lighter, stronger and higher-boosted; its turbocharged 261bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine puts out 54bhp more than the 'standard' 2.0-litre GT and can be mated to either a six-speed manual or six-speed DSG gearbox.

The R's differential, suspension, brakes and steering are all uprated and together ensure the R is very much a sports-focussed machine. Better still, the driver can select chassis settings for comfort, normal or sport modes to really hone the handling to suit.

Externally, the Scirocco R sports new front and rear bumpers, grille, side skirts, mirrors, rear diffuser, wing and exhaust along with a set of distinctive wheels created by Volkswagen's in-house R design team. Setting it apart from the standard Scirocco inside are more sporting seats, a new steering wheel and trim detailing such as white backlit dials with electric-blue needles.

The new VW Scirocco R costs 28,505 in manual form or 1,300 more with the DSG twin-clutch automatic transmission. The standard equipment tally includes climate control, powered door mirrors and windows, front and front-side driver and passenger airbags, CD/RDS, power steering, ESP, alloys, etc. Desirable options include 19-inch Talladega wheels shod with 235/35 tyres (an extra 540), rear parking sensors (355) and a 1,295 voice-activated navigation and entertainment system.

The engine mods have
made the Scirocco
extremely responsive
without it becoming
either edgy or
gear changes come
quickly and cleanly
and there is no
interruption to the
The R's engine note is slightly more obvious but it's nonetheless a pleasant one and the character markedly changes as you depress the throttle to overtake.

Engine modifications have made the Scirocco R extremely responsive without it becoming either edgy or temperamental.

Gear changes come quickly and cleanly and there is no interruption to the acceleration thanks to the fluency of the six-speed DSG 'box that operates very smoothly going up and down the gears.

Turning and slowing the front-wheel drive Scirocco R is accompanied by rapid responses to wheel and pedal inputs but you never feel it's getting out of hand and it always performed within its limits while suggesting there's still a lot left in reserve.

The improved seats provide greater support and hold you very securely during bouts of harder driving but despite the revised suspension and the firmer settings it remains a very comfortable car to travel in. Access to the front seats is very good although it's more tricky getting into the back pair.

Boot space is modest (312 litres; however with the two split/fold rear seats down this increases to 1,006 litres) but easy to load and about my only criticism is that the rearward and over-the-shoulder visibility is not at all satisfactory — the optional parking sensors really should be standard.

Coming in as the flagship of the Scirocco line, the 28,505 R version is undoubtedly the best but there are less expensive models — the range begins at just under 19,000 for the 1.4 120bhp petrol and also includes a 207bhp GT. In fact, the seven-strong line-up even has diesel derivatives priced from 21,355. With striking looks, seriously sharp performance, proper comfort and enjoyable handling, it's hard to say Nein to a Scirocco R. — Robin Roberts

Volkswagen Scirocco R 2.0 TSI DSG
| 29,805
Maximum speed: 155mph | 0-62mph: 5.8 seconds | Overall test MPG: 24.8mpg
Power: 261bhp | Torque: 258lb ft | CO2 187g/km