Although the Volkswagen Scirocco is closely based on the platform and running gear used by the Golf GTi, it would be both simplistic and inaccurate to describe the Scirocco as a Golf GTi in a cocktail dress.

It shares the same wheelbase but it’s 40mm longer, a significant 51mm wider and a massive 97mm lower. Most important, its track is wider by 35mm at the front and 59mm at the rear.

Matt Saunders Autocar

Matt Saunders

Road test editor
The Scirocco is far from a Golf GTi in a cocktail dress

As a result, the Scirocco is not only lighter than the Golf on which it is based, with a lower centre of gravity, but it also has a broader stance, which accounts in no small part for the way it conducts itself on the road.

In addition, it comes with bespoke settings for its springs, dampers and anti-roll bars. In other respects, however, it follows both class convention and the Golf’s lead. Front suspension is a simple strut located by a lower wishbone, while that at the rear is a four-link arrangement.

For the R model, Volkswagen has made subtle changes to the Scirocco’s appearance, enhancing its muscularity without having to make alterations to the metalwork, a task presumably made easier by the fact that it must have known during development of the cooking model that it was later going to produce a hot variant. To our eyes it’s a successful look but one that will not be hard to replicate for owners of lesser Sciroccos.

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Poor rear visibility is a bit of a Scirocco trait, but in dirty conditions the rear screen easily gets filthy. Without a fancy telescopic wiper, the cleaned area is restricted by the height of the screen and is therefore pretty small.

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