The boss of Volkswagen is said to have confirmed the company is working on high-performance ‘R’ versions of its SUV models, according to a new report out of the UK this week.
Speaking with Auto Express, Volkswagen chief Herbert Diess said the company is right now developing several SUV R models to expand its performance line-up.
“We have a second sub brand which is R. With R we are considering. GTI has something to do with the hatch and this size of car – we shouldn’t expand this brand,” he said.
“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.”
Above: 2019 Volkswagen T-Roc, Top: Volkswagen Tiguan 162TSI R-Line
It wouldn’t be the first time Volkswagen has offered an R-branded SUV, of course. The first-generation Touareg was offered in V10 turbo-diesel R50 guise between 2007 and 2010, developing 257kW of power and 850Nm of torque.
The company also offers ‘R-Line’ versions of its current Tiguan and Touareg, and, in Australia the sporty variants are paired with the most powerful engines in their respective ranges – such as the Golf GTI-powered 162kW/350Nm Tiguan 162TSI R-Line and the 250kW/800Nm Touareg V8 TDI R-Line.
The upcoming T-Roc small SUV could be a candidate, spawning a hi-po T-Roc R and likely using a version of the Volkswagen Group’s 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, which comes in various states of tune.
The 206kW+ version seen in the Golf R would suit the R moniker, though a crossover so small and Polo-based could see a slightly detuned version to leave room for a more powerful Tiguan R.
A clue could lie in the upcoming 2.0 TFSI quattro version of the related Audi Q2, which develops 140kW of power and 320Nm of torque – close to the 1.8-litre Polo GTI’s 141kW/320Nm (250Nm DSG) outputs.
The standard version of the T-Roc has been spied numerous times – more recently with just about no disguise – and was also teased in a video earlier this month.
However, Australians won’t be able to get their hands on the German company’s smallest crossover until at least 2019 due to high global demand.
For now, we’ll have to bank on an R version of the current Tiguan to arrive before then – a prototype believed to be the Tiguan R was spied last October (above) near the Nurburgring race track, given away by the special tailpipe trims.