Volkswagen reveals the T-Roc baby SUV

2018 Volkswagen T-Roc.
SUPPLIED

2018 Volkswagen T-Roc.

Volkswagen has lifted the covers on the new T-Roc at a media presentation held on the shores of Lake Como in Italy.

Set to make its public premiere at the upcoming Frankfurt motor show, the new high riding five seat hatchback slots in to the German car maker's line-up beneath the Tiguan offering buyers the choice of three petrol and two diesel engines in differing states of tune together with either front- or permanent four-wheel drive.

One of two new crossover style Volkswagen SUV models planned for introduction by early 2019, the uniquely styled T-Roc was first previewed by in concept car guise at the 2014 Geneva motor show.

2018 Volkswagen T-Roc.
SUPPLIED

2018 Volkswagen T-Roc.

The definitive production version, pictured here officially for the first time, has been conceived to rival a wide number of junior SUV offerings in a price range that will see it compete with the Renault Captur at the lower end and the Mercedes-Benz GLA at the upper end of its initial six model strong line-up.

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2018 Volkswagen T-Roc.
SUPPLIED

2018 Volkswagen T-Roc.

It will be joined in early 2019 by a production version of the smaller Volkswagen T-Cross Breeze concept revealed at the 2016 Geneva motor show, according to Wolfsburg sources.

The T-Roc is the latest Volkswagen model to be based on the company's highly versatile MQB platform. It employs a MacPherson strut front and, depending on the engine and drive system, either a torsion beam or multi-link rear suspension in combination with an optional adaptive damper system.

Stylistically, the new SUV leans heavily on the earlier concept of he same name with an exterior styled to emphasize its dual on- and off-road character.

Among the key design cues is a new interpretation of the classically simple Volkswagen grille. It is bookmarked by relatively thin headlamps that wrap around well into the front fenders to give the front end a highly tapered appearance. The thin profile of the headlamps has been made possible by a decision to house the LED daytime running lamps and cornering lamps lower down within the front bumper, which also receives a prominent trapezoidal shaped cooling duct and silver coloured kick plate within its lower section. The daytime running lamps serve as indicators, switching to an orange hue when the turn signals are in operation.   

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Further back, the sides are dominated by relatively large wheelhouses flanked by heavily structured wheel arches. Other distinguishing styling features include a swage line that runs back above the door handles to form a defined shoulder line, a chrome trim element extending from the A-pillar over the entire side of the roof before ending at the base of the wide C-pillars and, as optional, a two –tone paint scheme in which the roof section, including the A-pillars and exterior mirror housings, boast a contrasting colour to the rest of the T-Roc's five-door steel body.

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

At 4234mm in length, 1819mm in width and 1573mm in height, the T-Roc is 252mm shorter, 11mm wider and, due to its more road car like ground clearance, a considerable 131mm lower than the second-generation Tiguan. Although the two Volkswagen models share the same 2603mm wheelbase, their track widths differ; the T-Roc's front and rear tracks are 24mm and 31mm shorter than those of the Tiguan at 1546mm and 1572mm respectively.

Compared to the recently facelifted seventh-generation Golf, the new Volkswagen SUV is 21mm shorter, 21mm wider and 120mm higher. Its wheelbase is also 31mm shorter than the German car maker's traditional hatchback.

Inside, the T-Roc boasts a dashboard similar in style to that already used by the Golf Sportsvan, but with additional body coloured trim elements to help liven its appearance. The controls have also been brought over from other recently launched Volkswagen models, giving the new SUV an instantly familiar cabin appearance.

The added body height in comparison to the Golf as enabled Volkswagen to provide the T-Roc with an elevated SUV like seating position; the front seats are mounted 572mm above the road, while the rear seats are set at a height of 618mm. 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.

The list of optional equipment is extensive. Included is the latest version of Volkswagen's 11.3-inch active info display digital instrument pack, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display supporting a so-called app connect function for integration with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and MirrorLink, an inductive smart phone charge plate and a Beats sound system featuring a 300-watt 8-channel sound system. 

The T-Roc will be sold with a choice of five different turbocharged engines, including three petrol units and two diesels. Depending on the model, buyers get to choose between a six-speed manual or seven-speed dual shift automatic gearbox and either front- or 4Motion four-wheel drive.

Among the petrol engines is a 1-litre three-cylinder developing 85kW and 200Nm in the entry level 1.0 TSI. Above it is the 1.5 TSI, which receives Volkswagen's newly introduced 1.5-litre four-cylinder with 110kW and 250Nm. The initial performance leader within the new T-Roc line-up, though, is the 2.0 TSI. It runs the latest variant of Wolfsburg's 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine delivering 140kW and 320Nm of torque.

The diesels, all fitted with a SCR catalytic converter, kick off with a 1.6-litre four-cylinder with 85kW and 200Nm in the 1.6 TDI. It is supported by Volkswagen's 2-litre four-cylinder, which develops either 110kW and 340Nm or 140kW and 400Nm in the 2.0 TDI.

A total of four models come with a six-speed manual gearbox and front-wheel drive as standard. The 2.0 TSI and more powerful version of the 2.0 TDI come exclusively with a seven-speed dual shift gearbox and 4Motion four-wheel drive – a combination that can also be ordered as an option on the 1.5 TSI and lower powered 2.0 TDI.

T-Roc models equipped with 4Motion four-wheel drive receive a so-called active control function. It provides the choice between two on-road modes, street and snow, as well as two off-road modes, off-road and off-road individual. An optional feature on front-wheel drive models, the 4Motion four-wheel drive models also receive a driver profile function as standard. It allows the driver to choose between five different modes: comfort, normal, sport, eco and individual.

Volkswagen claims the T-Roc leads its class in terms of driver assistant systems. Among the standard equipment on all models is automatic post collision braking, active land keeping and a front monitoring system – the latter incorporating pedestrian monitoring and emergency braking.  High-end models also receive a driver alert system.

Buyers can option the new SUV with a further 10 functions, including road sign display, adaptive cruise control, lane change assist, blind spot monitoring, traffic jam assist, emergency assist, proactive occupant protection, main beam assist and park assist.

 - drive.com.au

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