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 Volkswagen 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.

In 2014, the Scirocco was facelifted with subtle changes made to the exterior and an improved fit and quality of materials on the inside, while the biggest news was the introduction of the GTS and a faster R .

The new Scirocco range features a broad choice of four-cylinder engines, ranging from one turbocharged versions of the VW group 1.4, three 2.0-litre petrols and a 2.0-litre TDI offered with 148 or 178bhp.

There’s a seven trim levels, with the sporty GTS and, as with the Golf, a range-topping R model. Unlike Volkswagen’s previous R models (such as the Golf R32), it uses the EA888 four-cylinder turbo engine rather than a V6, however it doesn't produce as much power as the same unit found in the all-wheel-drive Golf R.

Top 5 Sport coupes

First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week