Volkswagen has finally entered the compact SUV segment by introducing the T-Roc – essentially, a high-riding five-seat hatchback – at a media presentation on the shores of Italy's Lake Como. The new model will be positioned below the Tiguan and marks the start of a line-up transformation that will see a renewal of the full VW SUV range by 2020.
A stylish entry into the compact crossover ranks, the T-Roc will ride on the VW Group's versatile VW MQB platform and features a broad, hexagonal grille with headlights that integrate cleanly into the corners. LED running lights add style to the front fascia, and simulated skid plate adds some ruggedness to the design. A thick rear pillar (see Audi Q2) lends weight to the styling, and the heavily creased tail provides interesting visuals even when viewing the vehicle from the back. Three trim grades are planned for its debut - Standard, Style and Sport.
The T-Roc arrives in Europe first and buyers have several TSi petrol and TDi diesel engined options – a 1.0-litre 114hp TSI, a 1.5-litre 148hpTSI and a 2.0-litre TSI offering 188hp. Oil-burners comprise a 1.6-litre 114hp and a 2.0-litre TDi in two states of tune – 148 and 188hp. Transmissions will be either FWD, or AWD via a six-speed manual 'box or seven-speed DSG automatic.
The VW T-Roc is set to make its public premiere at next month's Frankfurt motor show and goes on sale in the UK around December with a base price in the region of £18,000 – WG.