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.

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?

Top 5 Sport coupes

  • BMW M4
    The new M4 is powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-litre straight six engine that puts out 425bhp and 406lb ft

    BMW M4

  • Audi RS5 coupé
    The hottest 444bhp version of the A5 coupé range closes in on the BMW M3

    Audi RS5

  • Alpina B4 Biturbo
    The B4 is Alpina's answer to the BMW M4

    Alpina B4 Biturbo

  • Lexus RC-F

    Lexus RC F


First drives

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Car review
    21 October 2016
    Can Seat’s first SUV impress, even with the heavy burden of expectation?
  • Car review
    21 October 2016
    The last hurrah for the current Aston Martin Vantage adds the track-ready GT8 to the range
  • Audi S5 Sportback
    First Drive
    20 October 2016
    New S5 Sportback is more spacious, better to drive and offers a calmer ride than before, but rivals offer greater involvement
  • Renault Clio RS 220 Trophy
    First Drive
    19 October 2016
    Mildly revised hot hatch is enjoyable on UK roads but continues to play second fiddle to the Ford Fiesta ST
  • 2016 Smart fortwo Brabus cabrio xclusive
    First Drive
    18 October 2016
    Mechanical upgrades make the Smart Fortwo Brabus cabrio better to drive, but it’s too pricey to recommend