Life with “The Management Fleet” VW Scirocco just keeps getting better and better. We have now happily cruised up to just under 3000kms during our tenure and the little feisty four pot turbocharged motor is really coming on song. It’s funny how a gentle run in – restricting the revs a touch – followed by a flexible work out now that mileage is on the clock, has seemingly brought the motor to life.
So we mentioned challenges last time we posted about the ‘Rocco. Now what better challenge to throw at the little coupe, than a heads-up with the big bad-boy hatch of the family. Welcome to the party then; the mighty Volkswagen Golf R. A ballistic AWD ground muncher of a car. Best put our running sneakers on then!
The plan was quite simple. We needed a de-stress from the hustle and bustle of Dubai life, and wanted to pit the dynamic Scirocco up and against the Golf R.
Wanting to highlight the variances between the chassis, suspension set-ups, handling and of course power delivery, we took about two seconds to decide that the Kalba Run was the track of choice. For those of you who are unaware of the Kalba Run, it’s a stunning stretch of black stuff, effectively linking Dubai and the town of Kalba on the east coast of the UAE. Traversing through the desert, up into the mountains, along stunning flowing/fast roads and down into the little coastal town of Kalba itself. You can jump off course here and there along the way to experience some stunning twisties… do what we do and take the risk. Get lost, enjoy the drive and then retrace your steps back to the main road.
With about two hours added to the clock and the better part of a full tank of go go juice later, we found ourselves parked up on the beach in Kalba, ready to discuss each others steads. I had the pleasure of Phill Tromans, Dep Editor for EVO Middle East with me, so at least I knew the feedback was going to be incisive, witty and intelligent.
The interesting aspect of the feedback though, was just how fond we both were of the Scirocco. Our initial discussions over a coffee and a Snickers in the morning, really had the odds stacked heavily against it. This should have been Golf R hunting ground, however the coupe held it’s head up high and delivered a superb repertoire of deft handling and proper pace.
Our ‘Rocco is running on the standard suspension set-up (no ACC here) and we both agreed that it was all the better for it. The front end was also proving to be razor sharp, added to the fact that without the benefit of AWD, it felt more alive in our hands.
Yes, the Golf R can be a proper weapon when you start to tap into it’s mighty and very deep reserves, however it’s just not there immediately. The front end had a sense of reticence to turn in compared to the ‘Rocco, yet when you started to trust in it’s capabilities, it really started to shock and awe. And on an open stretch of road like the one above, it pushed on beautifully on a wave of boost. Mind you, the lesser powered Scirocco was always firmly pinned to it’s bumper. Much to the frustration of who ever was in the Golf at the time.
As we brimmed the tanks ready for the long slog back into Dubai we had a final chat and came, pretty much, to the same conclusion. The Scirocco is a superb car and with the advent of the Scirocco R just around the corner, the future for the car in this region is looking very rosey. Yes the Golf R will always be the commercial success as it has the usability and space to go with its prodigious pace. It’s fair to say that it does take a bit of time to get to the bottom of it’s ample capability, but when it comes to that immediate fix, simple formula and sheer grin factor. The mighty ‘Rocco rose to the top… this time >>>