Not one but two hot Volkswagen R models arrived virtually at the same time; one was the Golf R, with all-wheel drive to channel its power to the road, the other was this, the Scirocco R.

Unlike Volkswagen’s previous R models (such as the Golf R32), these use four-cylinder turbo engines rather than V6s. That means their drivetrain layout is more similar to the models that spawn them – in this case the regular Scirocco GT 2.0 TSI – than was previously the case.

Deputy road test editor
The Scirocco R packs a 261bhp turbocharged engine

What impresses us so much about the regular Scirocco is not just how much it does right, but how precious little it does wrong.

When we road tested it, we were struck by its all-round dynamic ability, coupled to a spaciousness that few cars of its class can match and a price within a whisker of its Golf GTI sister model, despite the coupé being a more compelling driving companion.

Question is, though, is the hottest Scirocco more engaging than not only the fastest Golf, but also the rest of a very competitive array of hot hatch and small coupé rivals?