VW Scirocco

Launch Pad: Volkswagen Scirocco and Scirocco R, Frankfurt, Germany

VW SciroccoIt is 40 years since Volkswagen launched the original Scirocco (that’s back in 1974 non-maths fans). So it makes 2014 an appropriate year to update the current model.

It’s a bit of a blink and you’ll miss cliché of a facelift – new bumpers and lights, nothing more – but under the bonnet all six engine options have undergone at least a minor tickle, and in some cases been replaced entirely. The result is a range that offers more power across the board, and yet efficiency is increased by as much as 19% (though obviously not for everything).

Is this enough to keep the Scirocco fresh in the eyes of coupe buyers? I’m not so sure. Subtlety has always been a Volkswagen keystone, but don’t coupe buyers want to stand out? The basic Scirocco shape now dates back six years to 2008; and this revision hardly changes the automotive landscape.

The UK has always appreciated it just as it is, though, becoming the car’s biggest market in Europe, with around 5,000 sold every year (China is biggest overall, taking about 50% of all Sciroccos produced, which for various reasons it something of a surprise).

Still, the revised range-topping R model now packs 280hp (essentially making it a SEAT Leon Cupra in a sharper suit), and if it drives anywhere near as well as the Golf R it should cast a warming halo glow across the rest of the line-up.

With this, the 220hp petrol and 184hp diesel available to drive, it should be a fine day in Germany. Especially following the world cup victory at the weekend – the country already feels more relaxed than I’ve ever experienced it.

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