Volkswagen has unveiled the T-Roc compact SUV concept, which is tipped to spawn a production version in 2017.

Speaking at the Geneva motor show, Heinz-Jakob Neusser, VW's chief of research and development, said, "We'd like to build the T-Roc. It would be the logical conclusion of the Golf concept. We've shown many SUV concepts in the past 24 months – many of them ready for production."

Shown here in a series of pictures and official design sketches, the latest in a long line of high-riding concepts from Volkswagen is expected to become part of a five-strong future SUV line-up under development at the company’s Wolfsburg headquarters in Germany.

The new Volkswagen, which will share its underpinnings with the Audi Q1, will face competition from the likes of the Nissan Juke, Vauxhall Mokka and Renault Captur.

The exterior of the T-Roc features what Volkswagen describes as the latest evolution of its SUV styling DNA, and showcases a newly designed grille aimed at providing future Volkswagen SUV models with a more dynamic appearance than that of today’s offerings. 

Running the full width of the front end, it also serves to accentuate the width of the new car in a continuation of the horizontal theme seen on other recent Volkswagen models. A further design feature tipped for inclusion on the production version of the T-Roc are its integrated round LED headlamps.

In a move that hints Volkswagen is considering a targa roof function on selected new models, its latest concept also includes a removable roof panel that can be stowed in the boot.

At 4179mm long, 1831mm wide and 1501mm high, the T-Roc is 247mm shorter, 22mm wider and a considerable 202mm lower than the Tiguan. Volkswagen hints at a kerb weight of 1420kg for the production version of its new SUV.

Underpinning the T-Roc is a variant of Volkswagen's flexible MQB high-strength steel platform. It sports a wheelbase that is 10mm shorter than that of the existing Tiguan at 2595mm. The suspension combines MacPherson struts up front and a multi-link set-up at the rear, while its large arches accommodate 19-inch wheels.

Power for the T-Roc comes from the latest evolution of Volkswagen’s familiar turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder common rail diesel engine delivering 181bhp and 280lb ft of torque at 1750rpm. Drive is sent through a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox with steering wheel-mounted shift paddles and an electromechanical multi-plate clutch four-wheel-drive system offering three different drive modes: street, off-road and snow.

Volkswagen’s computer simulations point to a 0-62mph time of 6.9sec and a 131mph top speed in street mode, in which the majority of drive is sent to the front wheels. In off-road and snow modes the drive is apportioned in a nominal 50:50 front-to-rear split for added levels of traction.

A similar set-up is envisaged for more powerful versions of Volkswagen’s new compact SUV, with lower-powered variants set to get a front-wheel-drive setup as standard.

Further off-road highlights include cameras mounted within the headlamps and at the rear, allowing the driver to monitor the terrain on a central screen.

Set to join the production version of the T-Roc in an expanded Volkswagen model line-up later this decade will be production versions of the smaller Taigun and larger CrossBlue concepts as well the second-generation Tiguan and a third-generation Touareg.

The reference to the letter T in the name of the new Volkswagen concept suggests that the production version, which is expected to be built in Spain, will follow the lead of its SUV siblings by also using a name beginning with T.

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