New Volkswagen T-ROC SUV will be a sub-Tiguan Golf-sized crossover. Teased at Geneva, it'll be on sale later in 2017
Volkswagen has been relatively slow to pick up on the sales success of SUVs. But that’s about to change as the German brand rolls out new, more ‘emotional’ crossovers in the next 18 months. And it starts with the all-new Golf-based T-ROC, which we will see this summer.
VW has been toying with the idea of a Golf-based SUV for over three years, since it revealed the T-ROC concept at 2014’s Geneva Motor Show. A debut for the production car was intended to be at this year’s Geneva show, but VW scrapped the idea and will instead launch it this summer, closer to its on-sale date towards the end of the year.
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The T-ROC will slot into VW’s line-up beneath the Tiguan, but will sit alongside the Golf in the range. It will be targeted at buyers who don’t necessarily want the increased footprint of an SUV, but value added practicality and a raised ride height.
While the T-ROC itself wasn’t on the stand at Geneva earlier this month, an image of the upcoming SUV was flashed up on screen during VW’s press conference, teasing what to expect. It’s boxier than the Tiguan, with squared- off wheelarches, chunky C-pillars and a prominent shoulder line that sets it apart.
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Mechanically, the T-ROC will share most of its DNA with the Audi Q2. In fact, the T-ROC is likely to be similar in length to the Audi, at around 4.2 metres, and measure 1.8m wide. The same version of the VW Group’s versatile MQB platform that underpins the Q2 and SEAT Ateca will form the basis of the T-ROC, so a wheelbase of around 2.6m is expected; that’s similar to the standard Golf hatchback’s, too.
The similarities with the hatch won’t end there, either, because engine and gearbox options available in the T-ROC are expected to be taken wholesale from the Golf range. That means an entry-level 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo with around 115bhp, while the 148bhp 1.5-litre TSI EVO turbo petrol engine that was first seen in the facelifted Golf will also be available.
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VW boss Herbert Diess had previously called into question the future of small-displacement diesel engines in compact cars, but the T-ROC will be unaffected by this change; diesel engines are expected to make up the bulk of sales for the new SUV.
We should see 1.6 and 2.0-litre TDI diesel engines in the T-ROC, with power ranging from 115bhp to 148bhp. Six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG gearboxes will be offered across most engine options.
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Entry-level versions will be front-wheel drive only, but it’s likely VW will make its 4MOTION four-wheel-drive system available on higher-spec diesel versions. In the Tiguan, more than 70 per cent of models sold in the UK are ordered with four-wheel drive. VW also has the ability, if it desires, to launch a range of variants of the T-ROC. Many of the crossover’s powertrains will be shared with the Golf, so there is the possibility of GTI, GTE plug-in, GTD and R versions in the future. A fully electric version is unlikely, because the company will pool all of its future electric cars under the new I.D. brand.
Following the new T-ROC into dealers later this year will be a new flagship Touareg SUV. After that, a small crossover based on the next Polo will be launched, as a rival to the forthcoming SEAT Arona and Nissan Juke.
Will the VW T-ROC be a success? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section and visit our sister site Carbuyer.co.uk to see how it could look…