The Scirocco comes with a choice of five engines. The quickest is the Scirocco R, with VW’s six-speed DSG transmission. It manages 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds (the manual car follows two tenths behind) and hits a limited 155mph. Despite using an older engine than the current Golf R, it doesn’t feel outmoded – it’s responsive, pulls hard throughout the rev range and even has a welcome character missing from many turbocharged four-cylinder units.
Volkswagen has managed to inject some of that character into the regular 2.0 TSI too. Both manual and DSG-equipped models sprint to 62mph in 7.4 seconds peaking at 140mph. One other petrol power plant is available – the 1.4 TSI. From rest 62 comes up in 9.3 seconds and it peaks at 126mph.
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The diesel models are punchy enough to back up the Scirocco’s sporty looks but they aren’t as aurally pleasing and lack the smoothness that the newest diesel engines on the market offer. The more powerful car almost matches the 2.0 TSI – reaching 62mph in 7.5 seconds (identical for the DSG). Top speed is 143mph for the manual and 142mph for the DSG. The lower powered TDI still manages a respectable 0-62mph time of 8.6 seconds and 134mph top speed (132mph for the DSG).