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

  • Porsche Cayman
    The Porsche Cayman is now in its second generation

    Porsche Cayman

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

    Toyota GT86

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

    BMW M235i

  • Costliest car gets the deftest chassis to ever underpin a TT - the best reason yet to buy into Audi’s coupe.

    Audi TTS

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

    Peugeot RCZ R


First drives

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    Alpina’s D3 saloon and estate benefit from the latest BMW 3 Series updates. We've always loved it, but is it still as beguiling as ever in this latest form?