Volkswagen Scirocco R
Never have we seen so many Volkswagens being launched in such a short space of time. We’ve scarcely taken a breath after the rapid-fire introduction of the Golf R, the Polo GTI, the Passat and the Polo sedan, or the Scirocco R is upon us – soon to be followed by the Amarok Single Cab, the Jetta and the Beetle.
It’s a huge year for Volkswagen, but it’s the hot hatches that normally generate the most interest among Topcar readers. The Polo GTI and Golf R (tested and reviewed in our June issue) were impressive, so it was going to be interesting to see how the more stylish Scirocco R measured up.
Since it uses the same 2.0 litre turbocharged four cylinder engine (good for 188kW and 350Nm of torque) and the same transmission (in the DSG version) as the Golf R, one might be tempted to label it as a prettier version with two less doors. It’s not that simple though.
They might be mechanically related and specced similarly, but there are some fundamental differences. There’s no 4Motion system in the Scirocco, which means all the power goes to the front wheels and it’s considerably lighter.
Since there’s no expensive four-wheel drive system in the Scirocco, it’s also slightly cheaper than the Golf R – R403355 for the manual and R417855 for the DSG compared to the Golf R’s sticker price of R423400 for DSG and R408 930 for the manual.
Volkswagen is claiming a 0-100kph time of 6 seconds for the manual and 5.8 seconds for the DSG version, and a top speed of 250kph. We put the manual through its paces on some good KwaZulu-Natal roads at launch and came away very impressed. First impressions are that where the Golf R is a solid bruiser perfect for the open road, the Scirocco R is the more nimble, responsive car that you’d pick for the twisties.
Like the Golf R, the standard spec count on the hottest Scirocco is high, with options limited to racing bucket seats, dynamic chassis control with comfort, normal and sport settings, a 6-CD 300w sound system, satnav and a sunroof. We’ll test it comprehensively for the August issue of Topcar and deliver comprehensive verdict then.