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Volkswagen Scirocco GT

Earlier this year, we tested the 148bhp edition of the revised Scirocco, and now we've managed to get hold of the more powerful 181bhp 2.0-litre TDI version, paired to the six-speed DSG twin-clutch automatic transmission. Just to recap, the Scirocco has been given a fresh look by VW, with a front bumper treatment that mirrors the blades of the Golf GTI, together with refreshed headlights, bumpers and tail lights.
Euro-6 emissions compliant engines join the range in 148 and 181bhp power outputs and inside the instruments have been given a makeover, including a set-of dials that pay homage to the original 1974 Scirocco. The combination of the most powerful diesel engine and the DSG automatic transmission is a dream, with serious pace on offer. The super quick gear changes allow the driver to make great use of the power on offer, with pull in the mid-range particularly punchy. There's the option of swapping cogs using the paddleshifts for extra involvement, but we think it is best when the car is left to its own devices.
The engine itself is quiet and refined, but an added sound generator adds a deeper, throatier growl to appeal to buyers that like like a meatier sound to their hot hatches. There's a touch of wind noise to go alongside, but the big problem with the Scirocco is that there's lots of road and tyre noise that intrudes into the cabin.
On a back road, there's entertaining handling thanks to precise, agile steering and lots of grip. There's very little body lean in bends, feeling nicely controlled no matter how fast you throw it into a corner. Ride comfort of our test car was adjustable thanks to fitment of optional dynamic chassis control, with the best balance found in 'comfort' mode, which still had a firm, sporting edge, but rounded off sharper jolts from the potholes and deep ruts. 'Sport' mode sent too many shocks into the cabin and 'normal' doesn't offer the cushioning that comfort mode allows.
Apart from the extra instrument pod atop the dashboard, little has changed compared to before. And that's just fine, as the Scirocco has always had a nice quality cabin, crafted from fine soft-touch materials. It looks stylish, and elements like the triangular door pulls and centre console look great. All of the major controls are located high up for ease of use, and it's easy to get a comfortable driving position thanks to plenty of adjustment to both the seats and steering wheel.
The seats hug your frame nicely, offering excellent lateral support, and though it's a sports car, headroom up front is pretty decent. Even in the back, where in most rivals it would be a no-no for adults, we managed to travel four up with only the tallest passenger saying he wished there was more headroom in the back. Generally you don't expect much of a boot in coupes, but the Scirocco manages 312 litres, which is good, but you've got a high loading sill to lift luggage over, though. The area can be extended further by folding the rear chairs down in a 50:50 split arrangement, and owners will need to use them if they want to carry bulkier items or even a set of golf clubs.
Rear visibility is a challenge due to a ridiculously tiny rear view mirror and the coupe roofline, but thankfully parking sensors are fitted as standard to our GT models.

Price £27,805
Made in Palmeral, Portugal
Configuration 3-door coupe, 4-seats, front-wheel-drive
Drivetrain 1968cc, 4-cylinder, 16-valve, turbocharged diesel with stop-start
Transmission 6-speed twin-clutch automatic
Power output 181bhp @ 3,500-4,000rpm
Maximum torque 280lb ft @ 1,750-3,250rpm
Top speed/0-62mph 142mph/7.5 secs
CO2 emissions (tax band) 125g/km (D) Euro 6
Economy (urban/extra urban/combined) 50.4/65.7/58.9mpg
Fuel tank size/range 55 litres/713 miles
Insurance group/BIK rate 29/23%
Size (length/width with mirrors) 4,256/2,080mm
Boot space (minimum/maximum) 312/1,006 litres
Kerb/max towing weight 1,418/0kg

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