Crankandpiston’s Scirocco experience finally drew to a close recently. Well, sort of. To lessen the pain of losing the ‘Rocco after a prolonged stint together, the team took delivery of another: a fire-breathing R-spec this time, no less.
This may sound unimaginative – seems like only yesterday since the welcome party – but other than staying on parent company VW’s good side on the chance a Bugatti Veyron rolls through the doors in the near future, the R’s predecessor showcased several good reasons for our choice.
Grunt for one. Many a weary day at C&P GHQ was put to bed by a quick sprint between red lights, the responsive throttle and 2.0l TSI beating heart capable of putting even the showiest of muscle cars to shame, briefly. In fact, we pitted our departing model against the VW Golf R with surprising results.
A proper six-speed paddle shift gearbox was another good reason for this, and pulling close to 7000 revs between upshifts without the car breaking sweat was frankly remarkable. Yes, VW’s strive for lower fuel consumption meant the automatic transmission would often kick up through the gears while still well down the rev range: several times we caught ourselves tooling along at 50kph in, worryingly, fifth gear. Still, a quick bootful usually tightened the reigns and got our steed champing.
Just as well, since this further showcased the agility of the steering. Good weight, which remains intact as the speed-o-meter needles rises, and perfect balance leave the car feeling poised as you enter a corner. Hit the brakes, turn in, dab the throttle, feed the power in, and you’re away. No fuss. No histrionics. Which was exactly what I needed for my first drive in the Middle East.
Hidden behind the abandoned child seats, discarded magazines, half empty water bottles and loose change, there was also a well-made interior. Comfortable leather seats, high quality infotainment system and a surprisingly roomy cockpit made even the longest journeys a breeze, hence why the Scirocco took on course car duties during both shoots and events. Even if the lowline roof meant the driver’s seating position was a hair more horizontal than would be ideal for track thrashing.
That rather cluttered segue leads us to the exterior. It’s hard not to like the sleek, almost stealthily poised styling of the Scirocco. ‘Sportiness’ comes through in droves, while the slimline headlights and strong profile offer a subtle brutish quality.
Now, take all this and imagine it with 255bhp. Thought that might change your tune >>>