And it does indeed command a small advantage in claimed fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. But VW draws little distinction in straight-line terms, claiming with broadly similar performance figures for both.
The 123bhp 1.4 is more about style than speed, as a 0-62mph time of 9.7 secs proves. Given its relatively low asking price and decent economy, it is a sensible choice for someone who wants this car's looks more than performance.
The standard 2.0-litre model records a sub seven second 0-62mph time. This is an outstanding performance and fully competitive with selected rivals, like the BMW 225i coupé. Bear in mind, too, that if the Scirocco were rear rather than front-wheel drive, as are the Mercedes C-Class Coupé and BMW 2 Series coupé, it would be even faster.
As far as the R is concerned, don’t get hung up on the 0-60mph time. Admittedly our recorded time of 5.7sec doesn’t look hugely impressive, but there are a few things you need to understand before dismissing the Scirocco R. First, it faced the worst possible conditions for acceleration runs: not fully wet, but greasy. Second, the Scirocco R tags the limiter in second at 58mph.