What is it?
The Volkswagen Scirocco celebrates its 40th anniversary this year, and gets a new style for its big birthday.
We say new, but the changes aren’t so big as to constitute some sort of mid-life crisis – it’s all rather more subtle than that. Even here in the range-topping R model you’d need to be a committed Volkswagen fan to spot the differences.
The head- and tail lights are changed (the rears now using LEDs), the bumpers reprofiled and the usual improvements in economy, emissions and performance are mooted.
The R’s power rises to 276bhp, some 15bhp more than previously, though that's still 20bhp down on the Golf R. The coupé also makes do with just front-wheel drive compared to its four-wheel driven hatchback relative.
Underneath the bonnet remains the old Scirocco R’s EA113 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine, the updates not going so far as to include the newer EA888 unit of the Golf R.
That accounts for some of the deficit in output. The modest increases made with the older unit are achieved by electronic tuning rather than any mechanical revisions.
Volkswagen will point at the Scirocco R's greater standard specification over its hatchback relation, with DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control), navigation and leather upholstery all standard, but the 5.5secs it takes to reach 62mph is bettered by the Golf’s 4.9secs.
The Golf offers more opportunity for fun given its fully switchable ESP system, while the Scirocco R’s is always working behind the scenes regardless of your chosen setting.