Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

The VW Scirocco R is powered by a 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged engine. Pumping out 261bhp, upped to 276bhp in 2014, and 350Nm of pulling power, overtaking slower traffic on single-lane roads is a cinch. The engine is mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or a DSG ‘box as a cost option. The Scirocco R shares the XDS-equipped electronically controlled front differential that mimics a limited slip differential and reduces understeer.

This comes as standard on the majority of high-performance front-wheel-drive VAG models including the SEAT Leon Cupra R and the Skoda Fabia vRS. Performance figures look good – the Scirocco R is capable of accelerating from zero to 62mph in 6.0 seconds (DSG: 5.8 secs) and it has a top speed of 155mph. So, with the manual 'box, the Scirocco R is 0.2 of a second quicker over the 0-62mph dash than the Leon Cupra R and 0.4 of a second faster with the DSG gearbox.

Stopping the Scirocco quickly is not a problem as the R is fitted with a set of uprated brake discs measuring 345mm in diameter (310mm at the rear) and calipers finished in black are fitted along with specially tuned, pneumatically controlled damper units.

The Scirocco is a fun car to drive. The R is fast and handles brilliantly. The steering is weighty and accurate while there is no bodyroll in the corners. The car has lots of grip enabling excellent traction in the dry but in the wet it can become a little more lively especially in first and second gear.