What is it?
This is Volkswagen’s hardcore Scirocco R, the most potent variant yet of the firm’s Golf-based three-door coupe. Equipped with a tuned version of the old EA113 engine from the previous-gen Golf GTI and current Audi S3, the Scirocco R puts 261bhp and 258lb ft through its front wheels.
To cope with this extra grunt, the Scirocco gets XDS, VW’s electronic differential system, and Adaptive Chassis Control, which allows the driver to choose from normal, comfort and sport modes for the suspension, steering and accelerator response.
To give you an idea of where VW is pitching this car, the ACC’s normal setting on the R is roughly where sport is on a regular Scirocco; sport goes one step further on the new model.
You also get natty 18in wheels (19s are optional), larger brake discs and gloss black callipers, smoked rear light lenses, a rear diffuser, new side skirts and subtle interior tweaks including piano black finish on the fascia, new sports seats and a touchscreen stereo.
All of this performance and kit will cost you, however; prices will start at £26,945 for manual models, putting the Scirocco R on a par with its most obvious rival, the Ford Focus RS. And if you want a DSG-equipped machine, as tested here, you’ll need to add £1300 to that bill. The Scirocco still slots in beneath the forthcoming Golf R in VW’s performance line-up, mind you; that four-wheel-drive monster will nudge £29k before options.