At the concept’s unveiling on the eve of the Geneva motor show, Volkswagen head of research and development Heinz-Jakob Neusser told reporters that building the sub-compact T-Roc SUV would be “the logical conclusion”.
“We’d like to build the T-Roc,” Neusser said. “We’ve shown many SUV concepts in the past 24 months – many of them ready for production.”
Tipped to launch in three to four years’ time, the T-Roc is set to become the fifth member of Volkswagen’s SUV family, joining the second-generation Tiguan, third-generation Touareg, the recently revealed Taigun baby SUV, and the forthcoming CrossBlue seven-seater.
The Volkswagen T-Roc (the name is expected to change before it hits showrooms) will inherit its MQB-based underpinnings from the Audi Q1. Volkswagen's version is set to launch shortly after its premium cousin that’s confirmed for production in 2016.
At 4179mm long, 1831mm wide and 1501mm tall, the T-Roc concept is 248mm shorter and 22mm wider than the Tiguan, and its roofline sits 185mm lower to the ground. The T-Roc’s 2595mm wheelbase is also just 10mm shorter than that of the Tiguan. The three-door concept weighs 1420kg, comparing closely with the Nissan Juke AWD.
The concept borrows the Golf GTD’s 135kW/380Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, and its six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission sends power to all four wheels via Volkswagen’s 4Motion system.
The production model will feature a range of smaller petrol and diesel engines and come standard with front-wheel drive, reducing weight and promising fuel economy gains.
The T-Roc claims 0-100km/h in 6.9 seconds and combined cycle fuel consumption of 4.9 litres per 100km.
Three selectable driving modes – Street, Off-road, and Snow – allow drivers to customise the characteristics of the car’s throttle response, transmission, AWD system, ABS, and hill start and descent assist functions.
The T-Roc concept previews Volkswagen’s new-generation SUV design language, featuring headlights incorporated into the wide horizontal grille, flared wheel arches, heavily contoured bonnet and side panels, and a broad rear with angular LED tail-lights.
Removable roof panels that can be stowed in the boot and cameras mounted in the headlights and at the rear that allow drivers to monitor off-road terrain are less likely but believed not to be entirely out of the question for the production car.
The display of the T-Roc concept’s 12.3-inch instrument cluster screen adapts according to the selected drive mode, while its digital climate control system allows occupants to set a ‘perceived temperature’ – not simply the temperature of the air stream – for different areas of the body.
Blue Splash metallic trim lines the dashboard, console and door inserts of the four-seat cabin, which will gain a fifth seat in final production form.