On sale in autumn, performance crossover closely follows segment-leading Golf R hot hatchback
5 March 2019

The new Volkswagen T-Roc R looks set to become one of the major players in the burgeoning performance crossover market when it goes on sale in the autumn. 

The T-Roc R is as closely related to the Golf R as lesser versions are to the regular Golf, sharing the same powertrain and base suspension components. 

That means it has the VW Group’s EA888 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine – now fitted with a particulate filter and in 296bhp tune – part-time Haldex-based all-wheel drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. 

Volkswagen claims a 4.9sec 0-62mph time – 0.3sec slower than the Golf R but 0.3sec quicker than the Cupra Ateca – and a governed 155mph top speed. 

Despite a close hardware relationship with the Cupra – and the Audi SQ2 – settings are unique for each car. Although it sits higher than the Golf, the T-Roc R is 20mm closer to the ground than the standard T-Roc thanks to lower suspension and firmer settings. Passive dampers will be standard but VW’s DCC system will be an option. 

Our Verdict

Volkswagen T-Roc

Volkswagen arrives late at the crossover hatchback party. But can the T-Roc still turn heads in a congested segment?

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The T-Roc R gets 18in wheels as standard, with 19s as an upgrade option. All versions will have the beefy 17in brakes from the Golf R Performance. A quad tailpipe exhaust sits below the rear bumper and there will be the option of an Akrapovic system. 

Other visual changes include beefier bumpers, an anodised finish for the radiator grille, matt chrome mirror caps and R badges. The cabin gets some carbonfibre trim and a sportier steering wheel, plus the option of the Golf R’s sport seats. Pricing is unconfirmed, but expect the T-Roc R to start at around £35,000.

Q&A with Jost Capito, R division boss

What are the fundamentals of the R brand? 

“It is all-wheel drive, it is sporty and – after discussions with customers in a lot of countries – we know they want to see cars around 300 horsepower. People say why not go higher, but we need to hit a certain price, a sweet spot: we sell more than 20,000 Golf Rs a year.” 

How do you stop confusion with GTI models? 

“Firstly, they have two-wheel drive, but also they are more extreme. The R models have to be less racy, but with the same capability or even more. They always have more horsepower but are more about everyday usage. A TCR or Clubsport is much more aggressive. The GTI is in Up, Polo and Golf – and we are saying that R is starting with Golf.” 

So will there be several other R models? 

“The task I’ve been given is to make R to Volkswagen what M is for BMW. That means different positioning from just having a Golf R. There will be a wider spread. For the future, the Golf and T-Roc will not be the only ones, that’s for sure.” 

Join the debate

Comments
10

25 February 2019

I'd love these Germans to think of something a bit more interesting, instead of constantly trying to match each others lineups.

Great car though, not as sporty styling as the Cupra Ateca, but more of VW quality and performance.

Jameson

25 February 2019

Yeah, Bikes don’t count, never look at them twice either......

Peter Cavellini.

25 February 2019

Great styling and a good new addition. It isnt far out of the ordinary but it is going to be fun to drive. Good quality and performance.

25 February 2019

 I like this direction of more performance versions of their SUV line-ups. SUV's are generally boring to drive so lumping more HP into one is always going to have more exciting results. VW are trying to be a more premium brand  and promoting the R badge on various models will set them apart from the best of the rest outside of the german marques. 

Daz

25 February 2019

"The task I’ve been given is to make R to Volkswagen what M is for BMW. That means different positioning from just having a Golf R"...please leave BMW out of this' you have the audi parts bin to raid so you actually want to do is make the R brand what the RS brand is to audi surely. Please feel free to do that.

25 February 2019
It would be a cruel punishment to be forced to review and test such an excruciatingly, tediously predictable appliance as this.

25 February 2019

Yet t another boring complacent complimentary snoozy piece on a VAG car by Autocar..you're their best spokesperson...but I guess they pay the bills...

25 February 2019

I really like this apart from one minor detail the black wheels, they don’t work with the rest of the details on the car, would like to see it with an alternative.....

You are the weakest link......

25 February 2019

 Auto Express have a video review, where’s yours?

Peter Cavellini.

5 March 2019

I love the looks and the performance just wish they would give the option on more models like the tiguan.

Big T.

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