Volkswagen has opened order books for its new T-Roc SUV, with prices starting at £20,425 and first deliveries due in December.
The T-Roc aims to rival a wide number of junior SUVs in a price range that will see it compete with the Renault Captur at the lower end, the Nissan Qashqai in the middle and the Mercedes-Benz GLA at the upper end in one of Europe's fastest-growing car segments.
The T-Roc is the latest VW 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 by the same name, with an exterior styled to emphasise its dual on and off-road character. VW boss Herbert Diess said at the car's reveal that the new T-Roc would be "the new agility benchmark" in the class.
Among the key design cues is a new interpretation of the classically simple VW grille. It is bookmarked by relatively thin headlights that wrap around the front fenders to give the front end a highly tapered appearance. The thin profile of the headlights has been made possible by a decision to house the LED daytime running lights and cornering lights lower down within the front bumper, which also receives a prominent trapezoidal-shaped cooling duct and silver-coloured kick plate within the lower section. The daytime running lights serve as indicators, switching to an orange hue when the turn signals are in operation.
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 an option, 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: 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 VW 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 with the recently facelifted seventh-generation Golf, the new VW SUV is 21mm shorter, 21mm wider and 120mm higher. Its wheelbase is also 31mm shorter than the German car maker’s traditional hatchback.