Volkswagen Scirocco R Review

By: James Stanford

Volkswagen Scirocco R Volkswagen Scirocco R Volkswagen Scirocco R
Volkswagen Scirocco R Volkswagen Scirocco R Volkswagen Scirocco R
Volkswagen Scirocco R Volkswagen Scirocco R Volkswagen Scirocco R

VW Scirocco R. VW's hotrod coupe is here - was it worth the wait?

Volkswagen Scirocco R Review
Volkswagen Scirocco R


Volkswagen Scirocco R

Some things are worth waiting years for. Premierships, World Cups and the Volkswagen Scirocco (pronounced 'shi-rocco') are all prime examples.

The sexy coupe is finally coming here after going on sale in Europe all the way back in 2008. But at least we'll see it this time, unlike the first two Scirocco generations that never made it to Australia.

Volkswagen sells loads of different variants overseas, but only the range-topping Scirocco R will be shipped Down Under. This is partly because it's the most profitable and partly because VW was worried the regular 2.0T Scirocco would take sales away from the popular Golf GTI.

So the Scirocco R will start at $52,445 (on the road in Vic) as a six-speed manual. But don't get too excited because the R badge on the back is a tad misleading. Yes, Scirocco R has all 188kW/330Nm of the Golf, but it misses out on that car's all-wheel drive system.

It turns out Volkswagen never thought it would need an AWD system, which seems like a stunningly daft decision when you build something as sporty as the Scirocco. The lack of AWD does affect the driving experience, as we found out pushing hard up the Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps, but doesn't spoil it altogether.

Scirocco R runs an electronic LSD that you can feel working to limit torque steer and help smother steering tug during hard acceleration, but it's still far from ideal. You can't help but think it has a smidge too much urge to be sent to the front treads.

Still, the tremendous punch that comes from the boosted 2.0-litre is handy. The turbo really kicks in at about 2600rpm and the force is ferocious. It has so much pull that, on German autobahns, the engine will accelerate strongly from 160km/h. In sixth gear. It really is a muscular powerplant.

There's the added bonus of a lovely, rorty note to the exhaust, too, but the best sound it makes is the loud "braap" from the pipes when the DSG gearbox upshifts.

While the Scirocco's engine is a strong point, so is its handling prowess. It feels very well planted in corners and is happy to change direction instantly via crisp and accurate steering. All our Sciroccos will feature 19s and standard adaptive damping with three settings (Normal, Comfort and Sport). Sometimes these systems make little difference but this one does.

The Scirocco isn't as practical as a Golf, but shouldn't be too difficult to live with either. It only has two doors, but sports four bucket seats, and there's a surprising amount of headroom in the back. The boot is also more obliging than expected, and slightly larger than the equivalent space in a Golf R.

It might miss out on that car's ultimate traction, but the Scirocco R is still a fantastic drive. It's bold, brash and for those who like to stand out, it's been worth waiting for.



Volkswagen Scirocco R


ENGINE: 1984cc 4cyl, DOHC, 16v, turbocharger

POWER: 188kW @ 6000rpm

TORQUE: 330Nm @ 2500-5000rpm

WEIGHT: 1351kg

GEARBOX: 6-speed manual

0-100KM/H: 6.2sec (claimed)

TOP SPEED: 250km/h (limited)

PRICE: $52,445 manual (in Vic), 55,005 with DSG


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