TMR Team | Aug 24, 2017

Hot on the heels of an attention-building teaser campaign, Volkswagen has revealed the production version of its new small SUV competitor, the T-Roc.

Volkswagen revealed the T-Roc to media at an event in Italy ahead of a public debut at next month’s Frankfurt Motor Show before bringing the critical new Mazda CX-3 rival to Australia in 2018.

Positioned beneath the Tiguan, T-Roc buyers in Europe will be able to choose from three petrol and two diesel engines in differing states of tune, along with front wheel drive or all wheel drive depending on specification.

Designed to attract younger buyers whilst still maintaining a familiar Volkswagen look, the T-Roc was first previewed in concept car guise at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.

With the rampant and still-growing success of the small SUV category, the T-Roc will be positioned to tackle a wide range of competitors like the Renault Captur at the lower end and the Mercedes-Benz GLA at the upper end of its initial six model strong line-up.

At its core, the T-Roc utilises a version of Volkswagen’s versatile MQB platform. It employs a MacPherson strut front and, with a torsion beam rear suspension for front-drive models or a more sophisticated multi-link rear rear on all-wheel drive models, plus and available adaptive damper system.

To emphasise the T-Roc’s dual on- and off-road personalities Volkswagen has styled the compact SUV with bold wheel arch flares and chunky lower body detailing that creates a sense of solidity, a new LED running light treatment sits beneath the headlights, while the division between roof and body is highlighted in chrome trim and can be further emphasised via available two-tone paint.

Three specifications are planned from the outset of sales: standard, style and sport.

Parked next to the current Tiguan the T-Roc measures some 252mm shorter, at 4234mm in length, yet is 11mm wider at 1819mm. Reduced ride height, and a more dramatic profile, also result in a 1573mm height - a whopping 131mm lower than its bigger counterpart. Next to a Golf the T-Roc is 21mm shorter, 21mm wider, and sits 120mm taller.

On the inside the T-Roc adopts coloured trim panels for the dash and doors, like those seen on the new Polo, and can be optioned with an 11.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and upgraded Beats audio system.

Nominal boot capacity is put at 445-litres, which is 65-litres more than that offered by the Golf but a significant 170-litres shy of the Tiguan. With the standard 60:40 configured rear seat folded, capacity extends to 1290-litres.

From launch, engine options will include an entry-level turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine developing 85kW and 200Nm, a 1.5 TSI, which produces 110kW and 250Nm from a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder, and a flagship (for now) 2.0 TSI with 140kW and 320Nm.

Diesel options include an 85kW and 200Nm 1.6 TDI, a 110kW and 340Nm 2.0 TDI or a high-output 140kW and 400Nm 2.0 TDI.

The top-spec 2.0 TSI and 2.0 TDI are paired exclusively with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and 4Motion all-wheel drive, which is also optionally available on the 1.5 TSI and low-output 2.0 TDI. A six-speed manual with front-wheel drive is otherwise standard.

Off-road tech for 4Motion-equipped models includes Active Control - a drive mode controller that features Street and Snow, Off-Road, and Off-Road Individual settings.

Among the standard equipment on all models is automatic post collision braking, active lane keeping and a front monitoring system – the latter incorporating pedestrian monitoring and emergency braking. High-end models also receive a driver alert system.

Further optional safety systems include a traffic sign recognition system, adaptive cruise control, lane change assist, blind spot monitoring, traffic jam assist, emergency assist, proactive occupant protection, main beam assist and park assist.

Australian timing and specification details are still to be locked in, with more info expected in the lead up to the new model’s local arrival in 2018.

MORE: Volkswagen | T-Roc | Small SUV

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