VW Scirocco R20T: the inside story

Published: 25 November 2008

Volkswagen is readying a high-performance version of its Scirocco coupe. It's expected to wear the R20T badge, denoting it uses a 2.0-litre turbo mustering around 265bhp. It's the same firecracker four that sees service in the Audi S3, making this the most powerful Scirocco ever.

The new R20T will go on sale in early 2010, crowning the Scirocco range. Currently, UK customers can only buy the Scirocco in lighter pressure 2.0-litre turbo form with the Golf GTI engine. But the range will expand in January 2009 with the arrival of a 160bhp 1.4 Twincharger unit and a 140bhp 2.0-litre common-rail diesel. A more powerful, 170bhp derv arrives later next spring.

Tell me more about the new Scirocco R20T!

Fitting the S3's turbo to the Scirocco will turn the affordable coupe into a real firebrand – with the 0-62mph sprint likely to fall below six seconds and a 155mph limited top speed. Perfect for those who find the current 2.0 just a little too Golf GTI.

Volkswagen sources familiar with the project claim the R20T has 80% of the visual aggression of the Scirocco GT24 racer pictured. Remove the race-track wing, splitters and other Nurburgring paraphernalia and you get the idea.

The Scirocco R20T is likely to wear a price tag of £25,000, reflecting its performance ability. The UK won't, however, take the cheapest Scirocco derivative, the 140bhp 1.4 petrol TSI.

Why no R32 Scirocco?

It's the environment, stupid. Six-cylinder power isn't on the agenda for the Scirocco and it's relying on smaller, four-pot power that's better for emissions and economy. The old VR6-related unit is being quietly pensioned off...

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By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet