Volkswagen Scirocco R: Power of R
9tro issue #6
Text by: Cheryl
Photos by: Adrian Wong
Last year, not one but two hot Volkswagen R models arrived in Singapore almost simultaneously – the Golf R and the other, the Scirocco R.
Launched alongside the then newly-expanded Volkswagen showroom in July 2010, the Scirocco R tops the local Scirocco range, above the twincharged 1.4 TSI and the 2.0 TSI Sport. So how do you tell the differences between the three models of the Scirocco range?
The Scirocco R has oversized air intakes, LED daytime running lights, darkened tail-lights and dual chrome exhaust pipes framing a black diffuser. Then there is the ‘R’ badging all around – on the grille, headrests, steering wheel, glove compartment and even on the brakes! The blue needles on its dials added a touch of coolness too and the all-familiar flat-bottomed steering wheel remains.
Downsizing to a four-cylinder turbocharged engine instead of the usual V6 like in the previous R models, the Scirocco R’s turbocharged petrol direct-injection engine has more power and torque than the six-cylinder engine used in the Golf R32.
What Volkswagen has done, was fit the 265bhp direct-injected 2.0-litre turbo four from the Audi S3 into the front-wheel-drive Scirocco R. However, the local variant of the Scirocco R has been detuned from 265bhp in Europe to 256bhp for the Singapore market.
Delivering a maximum power of 256bhp at 6,000rpm, the Scirocco R’s maximum torque of 330Nm kicks in from 2,400rpm to 5,300rpm. Although it is a front-wheel-drive, the car handled that much power and torque in its front wheels unexpectedly well. Torque steer is negligible and the electronic front differential kept the car from spinning off into a bush while exiting a corner.
Like always, the six-speed DSG gearbox is brilliant and works well with this engine, making lane changing a zippy and quick affair. Taking only six seconds to get to 100km/h from rest, the Scirocco R is three-tenths of a second slower than the 102kg heavier Golf R, but one whole second faster than its 2.0 TSI counterpart.
The Scirocco R’s soundtrack has been tuned to sound not too high-pitched and not to basal either. It sounds sporty and powerful, completely making up for the absence of two cylinders. Dynamic Chassis Control is available, allowing drivers to vary steering and suspension settings from three modes – Normal, Sport or Comfort driving mode.
My favourite way of driving R is selecting the Sport mode, deactivating the Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), then using the paddle shifts for the manual override. In that mode, the car ‘stiffens up’ for hard driving and the ride can get a tad too bumpy for your passengers’ liking.
Comfort mode would be ideal when cruising along or when you do not feel like driving hard at all. I left it in Sport mode most of the time as I felt that the best of the R was brought out then.
Some of the Scirocco R’s closest competitors include its compatriots Golf R and the Audi TTS, both of which are of all-wheel-drive configuration. Its advantage then lies in its pricing, which is significantly lower.
The Scirocco R may not be as practical as the Golf R or as stylish as the Audi TTS, but it has spunk of its own and has everything capable for a challenge from its rivals anytime.
Volkswagen Scirocco R
Engine: 1,984cc 16-valve inline-4 turbocharged
Transmission: Six-speed DSG
Max Power: 256bhp at 6,000rpm
Max Torque: 330Nm at 2,400-5,300rpm
0-100 km/h: 6 secs
Top speed: 250 km/h
Price: $199,800 with COE (accurate at time of printing)
Distributor: Volkswagen Centre Singapore
*This was first published in 9tro magazine.