The 2014 Volkswagen Scirocco R – An Immersive Sports Coupe
Let’s start with some trivia of the day. 21% in the UAE don’t have any credit cards and use only cash for money matters; 27% are single credit card holders, and 52% have multiple credit cards. I belong to the latter. Juggling between payments, lost reward points and targeted by Repo Men…my financial skills equate to Zero.
One night every month I venture on the deserted roads of Dubai at wee hours of the morning to settle my monthly dues. Brilliantly lit, free from inconsiderate traffic and the smooth tarmac makes it our interpretation of the Circuit de Monaco. There are alternatives to make payments, but I’d rather prefer committing these carnal heists!
Having the perfect tool for these excursions makes them ever so memorable. Nothing too powerful that gets you on the Wrong Side Of The Law even with a gentle stab of the throttle. Sprinting from cloverleaf to cloverleaf the car needs to handle like a surgical scalpel not a medieval sword.
I found the perfect companion this month… The VW Scirocco R…
Driving Impressions – 9/10
Introduced in 2008 this R version hit our shores in 2010. Criticized initially as VW attempts to capitalize on its GTI platform, many simply stated it as a GTI in a sexy dress. I won’t be going down that rabbit hole though. A wider track, lower CG, and sportier drive wrapped in that sexy body sums up to a wonderful sports coupe.
The 2.0 TSI 255bhp may be reminiscent to the GTI we tested a while back but the manner the Scirocco R goes about its business is pure driving pleasure. 0-100km/h is dispensed in 6 seconds. The abundance of torque evident right from the engine start. R versions of the Scirocco are available only with the Dual Clutch (DSG) Gearbox. So you can either have it behave as a Conventional Auto maximizing fuel economy, a sports mode which makes the engine idle slightly higher than normal and fully manual. At full bore every gear change is an event with the dual exhaust emitting a lovely parp. So addictive was the note, my right foot rarely lifted of the pedal during my test. Nevertheless, I have to admit as wonderful these new Direct Injection Turbo engines are; fuel economy does suffer when you are gunning it.
All Scirocco R’s have VW’s excellent Adaptive Chassis Control (located just above the gear lever) which has three settings. Comfort, Normal and Sport. Each alters the throttle response, steering and damping turning the car into a real weapon or motorway cruiser at the push of a button. 19-inch Talladega alloys with 235/35 R19 section rubber provide plenty of grip and accurate steering, this coupled with the XDS electronic locking differential at the front makes the car turning in at ridiculous speeds without even a hint of understeer.
Sami Siddiqui’s logbook seems to be somber yet ecstatic…
After finishing the review on VW GTI and now getting into this Sirocco R seems like a natural progression of graduation for the simple reason: The R badge that is omni present everywhere in this car or on this car as well!
Standing Outside and staring at Scirocco R will strike a strong visual appearance. the rear-wheel haunches, the lowered squat, big air vents at the side of bumper a reminisces of track and motor sport look completes with two large shiny exhausts in the aft. Scirocco R is a stare magnet for sure albeit if someone notices it as our tester in Grey metallic paint disappears equally easily! That point also became a bone of contention and sparked an argument. Paint this car with spectacular vivid colors like: Viper Green or Salsa Red or the popular Rising Blue metallic and its simply a game over in terms of presence. Duck your head properly down and sit inside the usual high-quality yet pretty Stark cabin. Again, am I missing the point here? Where is the special feeling? I have a feeling that the car interior is design by a yuppie who had an MBA degree, wears grey a suite with grey tie and dark glasses. Oh I agree that there’s R logo on the head rest and on the flat-bottom steering and just about anywhere else to make the interior as special.
However, all the above idiosyncrasies will fly off as you crank the engine. The Joy of noticeable exhaust burble that will remind you back the nature of this car. Find an open winding road, mesh the race pedal and you will instantly be rewarded with all the forgotten pleasures. Those little explosions I heard on Golf GTI are now louder and genuine. The car moves forward like fire from the shot gun. R is totally engaging, there’s assurance everywhere: the grip is enormous the torque steer is barely noticeable. Switch the chassis setting into sport mode throw the car on to the bend, come out of the exit and mesh the pedal again and then do it and do it again whenever there’s an opportunity. However you just need to be very careful; before you realize the Scirocco R takes no time in cracking the regulatory speed barrier. How I wished for the race track; this thing is full of pure indulgence, simply pumpin’ adrenalin!
Options – 7/10
Inside VW displays brilliant design and quality as usual. Figure hugging sports seats in Vienna leather. Keyless Access and go, Rear parking sensors, a premium 8 speaker sound system, Navigation and Bluetooth connectivity. The sloping roof line however does have an adverse effect on rear headroom and visibility… but hey it’s a sports coupe! I don’t think prospective buyers will be complaining about that especially when they are attacking their favorite road like myself. But the lack of a rear view camera (like the one found in the 2014 GTI along with park assist) and blind spot detection are inexcusable for a premium coupe considering the price.
A Buyer’s Guide To The Galaxy – 7/10
The Scirocco hasn’t changed much since its introduction except for the addition of daytime LED’s and some additional options. A face-lift model has already been released doing the run around the globe at Motor Shows and should be hitting our shores later this year. The R being rumored to produce at least 290bhp like its brethren the Golf R.
Priced at 165000 AED it is not cheap taking into account the emergence of the Muscle cars lately. Mustangs and Camaros all have more power & street presence and can be had for similar money. But if the price suites your wallet then there’s endless Fun factor and an Exhaust note to die for.
Naveed Mushtaq took the keys and opportunity to write this post, thanks!