If you’d recently been down to your local Volkswagen dealer with the intention of buying a Scirocco R, you may have been surprised to return home empty-handed. The R had been quietly dropped from the Scirocco range as its 2.0-litre turbocharged EA113 engine fell foul of new EU emissions regulations that came into effect at the start of 2014.
Fortunately the R was only away for a sabbatical, cleaning up its act before getting back to work as one of Volkswagen’s performance icons. Now it’s packing a revised version of the EA888 engine that you’d find in the Mk7 Golf GTI, and with it comes an increase in power to 280PS (coincidentally the same engine and output as the new SEAT Leon CUPRA).
Expect the 60mph time to drop slightly from the old car’s 5.8 seconds while the 155mph limited top speed will remain the same. Fuel economy is likely to improve by around 20%.
The Scirocco’s body gets a nip here and a tuck there. New headlights incorporate LED running lights (they used to be built into the bumper) and it inherits the Golf R’s 18-inch ‘Cadiz’ wheels.
The rest of the Scirocco range benefits from a completely new engine line-up. The 1.4 TSI is upgraded to 125PS (from 122), the 160PS 1.4 has been replaced by a more economical 180PS 2.0-litre, and the 2.0 TSI model has been upgraded from 210PS to 220PS, keeping the Scirocco in line with the Golf GTI. Diesel options are now 150PS or 184PS, both 2.0-litres in capacity.
If you’re still keen for that Scirocco R you may be disappointed that you’ll have to wait until September for delivery, although order books open in May.