2014 Volkswagen Scirocco R Review (Part 2)

9/14/2014 10:33:25 AM
The Scirocco is a different beast altogether. The noise it makes on full throttle gear- changes is simply superb, and the low-down driving position with the figure-hugging chairs envelops you in quasi-motorsport surroundings. There is absolutely no sign that the Scirocco is inferior to the Golf R in any way.

Description: Volkswagen Scirocco R front view

Volkswagen Scirocco R front view

So it's sexier and faster than the Golf but, by virtue of its smaller lower roofline, less practical. Or so you may think. While all up space is less than that of the Golf, owners tell us that the ’Rocco will swallow a mountain bike relatively easily, and two if you remove their front wheels. In real world terms, you don't necessarily need volume to carry your stuff; you need a decent sized boot hatch and enough real estate to stash it. Two bikes and a bit of cycling gear is about all the Golf manages - and kite surfers reckon they can get their kit in and live with the amount of space too.

If you opt for the Scirocco R over the Golf, you'll get a car with a lower centre of gravity and a front end that bites into the tarmac with vigour. There's no trick diff in the front to plant that 255 horsepower, just the usual electronic stability control and its traction control bedpal. Switch them off, and the front-end gets lively, the steering wheel wriggly and the front end pushy. In typical and traditional front-wheel drive style, you simply lift the throttle to get the nose turned in, and the rest is simple.

Description: Volkswagen Scirocco R interior

Volkswagen Scirocco R interior

The rear remains planted throughout, and you really have to push it hard and do some fairly silly things for it to lose interest in communicating with the tarmac.

So, the Scirocco is better looking, almost as practical and faster than the Golf R Mk6. Have we left anything out?

Oh yes, the price. Here's where our argument for the Scirocco founders a bit because it's more expensive than the Golf. The new Golf R which arrives this month opens at around $41k before you start ticking options. The Scirocco is a little over $44k despite having two fewer driven wheels, less power, a little extra headroom and a chassis that is now two generations in the red.

Description: v

Five spoke split alloys are standard on the Golf R

That all may change with the new one which is due out in the coming months. It's a facelift model with a new front bumper and lights, and it sounds like VW is packing more power into the inline four for the European market at least.

That's not a shoe-in for the Middle East of course. With the kind of weather we see in the Middle East, manufacturers like to play it safe by dialling back peak power a bit, which means we may get saddled with a watered down version.

Volkswagen Scirocco R back view

Until then, the current Scirocco R maintains a tentative grip on its honours for ultimate three door VW hatch. Most will look straight past it when considering their next hatch, but it's worth at least sitting behind the wheel and taking it out for a spin.


·         Vehicle type:  front-engine, front-wheeldrive, 4-passenger, 3-door hatchback

·         Base price: $44,000

·         Engine type: turbocharged and intercooled dohc 16-valve inline-4, iron block and aluminum head, direct fuel injection

·         Displacement: 1984 cc

·         Power: 261 hp @ 6000 rpm

·         Torque: 350 nm @ 2500 rpm

·         Transmissions: 6-speed dual clutch automatic with manual shifting mode


·         Wheelbase: 2578 mm

·         Length: 4256 mm

·         Width: 1810 mm

·         Height: 1404 mm

·         Weight (dry): 1298 kg


·         Zero to 100 km/h: 5.2 sec

·         1/4-mile: Not tested

·         Top speed: 250 km/h

Projected fuel economy

·         Combined: 7.9 l/100 km


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