The upcoming Volkswagen T-Roc crossover could potentially spawn an all-out ‘R’ variant, according to a new report out of the UK.
Speaking with Autocar, the company’s research and development boss, Frank Welsch, said he had a development vehicle already commissioned “for testing” because he “likes the idea” of such a model.
Welsch couldn’t confirm at this stage whether Volkswagen would offer the performance crossover, though he does believe there is a market for a T-Roc R, considering the popularity of the Golf R and other performance models.
“It’s working [in the UK for Golf R], and given all the feedback we get on the car, I’m sure there are lots of customers who would like this combination,” he said.
“We have a 187bhp (139kW) T-Roc, which is more than the competitors offer, and we’ll see if lots of people take that, and then it’s time to decide.”
Autocar reports the so-called T-Roc R could produce around 223kW, although this is likely a speculative figure and not a number communicated directly by Welsch.
This latest development comes after Volkswagen chief, Herbert Diess, hinted at a range of R-branded SUV models back in May – which is likely to include the T-Roc and Tiguan, possibly the next-gen Touareg too – though shut down rumours of SUVs under the GTI moniker.
“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,” Diess told Auto Express.
“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.”
The company has offered a high-riding R model in the past, in the form of the first-generation Touareg R50 – which developed 257kW and 850Nm from its V10 turbo-diesel engine.