Volkswagen has released an official design sketch for its upcoming performance compact SUV, the T-Roc R. Due to be unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show next month, the new model will likely feature a revised exterior, a redesigned interior and a re-tuned version of the Golf R’s 2.0-litre engine.
This sketch is our first official glimpse at an undisguised version of the T-Roc R. It follows a stream of spy shots and an official teaser video from Volkswagen itself, confirming that an R version would eventually top the T-Roc range.
Early sightings of the sporty crossover showed a test mule dressed in the standard T-Roc body, with Volkswagen’s recent teaser video (and our most recent spy shots) featuring a disguised version of the production model.
Volkswagen’s latest sketch gives a reasonable indication of how the commercial model will look. Aside from the unrealistically large alloy wheels, we expect the new T-Roc R will adopt the wider track, lower ride height and “R-Line” panels detailed by the sketch.
Both Volkswagen’s official image and our spied test mules suggest that the new T-Roc R will draw inspiration from the latest Golf R. The front bumper of the new sketch shares the same “dog-bone” lower grille, whilst the test cars borrow the Golf R’s deeper rear bumper and quad exhausts.
Speaking at the annual “GTI Treffen” VW meet at Lake Worthersee in Austria in May 2017, Volkswagen’s Brand CEO, Herbert Diess, told Auto Express that the GTI brand will be reserved for performance-oriented hot hatchbacks, with the R brand showing more potential for expansion.
He said: “we have a second sub brand which is R. GTI has something to do with the hatch and this size of car – we shouldn’t expand this brand. For high-performance SUVs there is definitely customer demand. There are some premium cars there already that are quite successful. I agree that it is a good fit for the brand.”
We’ve already seen the VW Group’s attempt to capitalise on its forecasted customer demand for performance SUVs with the new Cupra Ateca. The first dedicated spin-off from SEAT’s new performance brand was released earlier this year and the VW T-Roc R will follow shortly, likely using the same powertrain.
If so, performance will come from the same 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine used by the Golf R. In the Golf, it makes 306bhp and 400Nm of torque and is transferred to the road through an all-wheel-drive system. It’s highly likely that this drivetrain will be transplanted into the T-Roc R, possibly in a slightly detuned state to prevent it from treading too firmly on the Golf’s toes.
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