The original 1974 Volkswagen Scirocco was a replacement for the Karmann Ghia and, setting the template for all future Sciroccos, was underpinned by Golf mechanicals – amazingly, some versions had as little as 60bhp. A Mk2 Scirocco replaced it in 1982, later variants of which shared the Golf GTI’s 1.8 16v engine. The Scirocco was replaced by the Corrado in 1992, but the 2006 IROC concept previewed the Scirocco’s return, with production starting in 2008.

Again Golf based, but with the promise of far sleeker looks and a sporty driving experience, the latest VW Scirocco is intended to inject the VW range with some desirability. VW's have long been known as much for how little they do wrong, as much for how they do right - the Scirocco is set to shift that balance by offering a tempting package at a surprisingly affordable price tag.

The new Scirocco range features a broad choice of four-cylinder engines, ranging from two turbocharged versions of the VW group 1.4, two 2.0-litre petrols and a 2.0-litre TDI offered with 138 or 168bhp. There’s a base trim level (although it’s nicely equipped), GT models and, as with the Golf, a range-topping R model. Unlike Volkswagen’s previous R models (such as the Golf R32), it uses a four-cylinder turbo engine rather than a V6. That means the drivetrain layout is more similar to the models that spawn it – in this case the regular Scirocco GT 2.0 TSI – than was previously the case.

 

Top 5 Sport coupes

  • The stated criteria for the GT86 read like a purist's manifesto: rear-drive, no turbo, ordinary tyres

    Toyota GT86

    1
  • BMW M235i
    The BMW M235i is a rear-wheel-drive turbocharged coupé which rivals the likes of the Porsche Cayman

    BMW M235i

    2
  • Peugeot RCZ R
    The front-drive RCZ R packs a 266bhp turbocharged engine

    Peugeot RCZ R

    3
  • The hot Scirocco that blurs the line between coupé and hot hatch

    Volkswagen Scirocco R

    4
  • Latest TT dares to shake the dust from the memory of the mighty five-cylinder Quattro

    Audi TT RS

    5

First drives

Videos

Find an Autocar car review

Explore the Volkswagen range

Driven this week

  • First Drive
    4 March 2015
    CLA looks, bonkers 45 AMG performance, but with added estate practicality. An enticing mix, but is this Shooting Brake worth the extra?
  • First Drive
    4 March 2015
    Savagely rapid, four-wheel-drive diesel version of BMW's four-door coupé could be brilliant, or it could be a niche too far. We drive the 435d xDrive Gran Coupé to find out.
  • First Drive
    4 March 2015
    This is our first opportunity for a UK drive in a manual version of the new Discovery Sport. Does swapping cogs yourself make more sense?
  • First Drive
    3 March 2015
    Sharper handling, more refined and better-looking. Still a bit rough around the edges, mind, but now good enough to be a class contender
  • Car review
    27 February 2015
    The second pure Mercedes-AMG model is a triumph of engineering and design, and should have rivals from Porsche and Audi worried