Volkswagen Scirocco R

Rocking Scirocco R

"To me the Scirocco has always been an attention-seeker, turning heads everywhere I go," said Ershad.

"Handling was very good, as expected from a Volkswagen bearing the R badge."

"Driving in and out of city traffic is something you will love to do in this car, rather than going on long drives."

"The Scirocco R would suit anyone who is looking to add some fun-factor to their garage, at a reasonable price."

Scirocco has always been a special design in the eyes of auto enthusiasts. Nothing in its league looks so…radical! That said, I have met people who hate it as well. But to me the Scirocco has always been an attention seeker, turning heads everywhere I go. The competition miserably fails to get its grips on the design of the Scirocco R.

The car I'm testing is a Volkswagen Scirocco R finished in a Pyramid Gold color, which is a new color this year. The car features a 2.0 L, four cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine, which pumps out a healthy 255 hp. The horsepower is a bit less than its cousin the Golf R, but is enough to keep the boy-racer-fire burning in you. The generated power is transmitted to the front wheels via a limited-slip differential type setup called the XDS, in Volkswagen lingo. This combination propels the Scirocco R from a standstill to 100 km/h in 7 seconds. The car I had was shod with the optional 19 inch wheels finished in gloss black, with 235/35 R19 tires. Initially I had the feeling 19 inches was a tad too big for normal driving, especially because the Scirocco R came with a stiffer suspension which made it 15mm lower than a normal Scirocco. Handling was very good, as expected from a Volkswagen bearing the R badge. But, as a result, comfort takes a beating. The ride is stiff and very hard. Mild bumps and puddles can upset the driver and the sports seats provide no big support in this regard. Steering response was just enough, with not too much feedback. It felt a bit heavy at times and mid corner corrections were hard. The Scirocco R features a six speed DSG transmission which ensures rapid gear changes, adding to the zippy feel of the car. Driving in and out of city traffic is something you will love to do in this car, rather than going on long drives.

The Scirocco feels fast - and looks the part too. The majority of the changes on the new car have been cosmetic. The front bumpers have a new design, contributing to a sleeker and sportier feel than the previous Scirocco. The grille and air dams in the front bumper are finished in gloss black as well, which provides an excellent contrast with the Pyramid Gold shade on the test car. The headlights on the new Scirocco R have been redesigned to give a sharper and more stylish look to the car. Overall, the car feels lower and a bit wider than the previous generation Scirocco. These differences are difficult to see at first glance, but the more time you spend with the car, the more you will notice the improvements. The VW logo is placed on the bonnet instead of the grille, as in the case of other VW models. Another design element on the Scirocco R is the brake calipers painted in black with the distinctive R logo. Minor details like this add a lot of value to the car, which customers can take note of. It is more FTV, than BBC! Style and attention to detail wins here.

Some new details are added on the rear bumper as well. It features a complete redesign with horizontal air outlet slats beneath the new tail lamps. The tail lamps are LED type, which is stylish and the trapezoidal design matches the overall design language of the car. The black diffuser, which forms an integral part of the rear bumper, looks chunky and further aids the flat, wide shape of the Scirocco R.  Twin exhaust pipes with chromed tips look clean and bolster the R badge. The VW badge on the boot doubles up as a boot opening latch as well. As a result, the boot section looks chic.

The super big doors on the Scirocco R open into a splendid interior, which is reminiscent of the Golf series. One of the surprises in the coupe-ish Scirocco R is the decent amount of interior space available. Coupe designs normally need to compromise on internal space, but the Scirocco is an exception. Fitting four people in a Scirocco is not going to be tough. The front sport seats provide a good amount of support for some hard driving, but they are a bit low on the comfort factor. Rear seats are just large enough for average-sized guys, but anyone over six feet tall will feel a bit tight, considering leg space and especially the head room. Headroom is at a loss because of the rearwards sloping roof design of the car. Once seated inside, the car feels sporty at every point. There is not too much soft touch or luxury-feel materials within the car, but you don't buy an R badged Volkswagen for luxury; you buy it for the love of driving. The Scirocco features new gauges placed above the center console as standard, like the engine oil temperature, chronometer and charge pressure, which pay tribute to the original Scirocco. The dashboard has undergone a redesign and thus feels eye-catching and strongly resembles the Golf family. Stainless steel pedals and aluminum doorsill plates with the R logo further enhance the sporty appeal of the Scirocco R.

Overall, the new Scirocco R provides a better package. Although the improvements are minor, it increases the feel-good factor of the car. The new car is said to be nearly 19 percent more fuel-efficient than the previous generation, but don't think that the car is less powerful. It generates more power than the previous model, design tweaks enhance the already wonderful looking car, and interiors are well appointed. The Scirocco R would suit anyone who is looking to add some fun-factor to their garage at a reasonable price. The new model is a worthy successor and the only thing I would love to see on this updated Scirocco R would be the all wheel drive system from its cousin, the Golf. I hope Geneva is listening!

Pros: Radical looks, full time sport, peppy DSG box.
Cons: Tight rear access, limited rear headroom, too firm.
Rivals: Ford Focus ST, Audi S3 Sportback, BMW 2-Series, Alfa Romeo Giulietta QV, Peugeot RCZ R, Renault Megane RS Cup.
Engine: 2.0 L, 4 cylinder turbocharged engine, 255 hp @ 6000 rpm, 330 Nm @ 2500 rpm.
Transmission: 6 speed auto, FWD.
Performance: 0-100 km/h: 5.9 sec, 8.2 L /100 km, top speed: 250 km/h.
Weight: 1,371 kg.
One word: Radical.

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