Hot 296bhp Volkswagen T-Roc R SUV is here

Published: 05 March 2019

► New VW T-Roc R SUV
► Golf R powertrain expected
► Will be revealed at Geneva 2019 

It’s official: this is the new Volkswagen T-Roc R, revealed a week before the 2019 Geneva motor show. It's the first time a fully fledged R performance derivative has been spun from one of VW's burgeoning SUV ranges - and the early performance specs suggest this is a fully fledged hot hatch on stilts.

According to VW, in order to legitimise the T-Roc R as a proper performance car, the brand has been thrashing it at the Nürburgring, even letting us have a ride on one of its hot laps in the process.

Keep reading for the full story…

Volkswagen T-Roc R at Geneva 2019

Tell me more about the T-Roc R powertrain…

Essentially a VW Golf R on stilts (thanks to the shared MQB architecture), the go-faster T-Roc shares the hot hatch's all-wheel drive powertrain and that extends to the turbocharged 296bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine mated to a seven-speed DSG automatic.

T-Roc R

How fast? VW claims a 4.9sec 0-62mph sprint and a limited top speed of 155mph. That sprint time makes it just 0.3sec slower to 100km/h than its Golf R stablemate as bluff aerodynamics, a taller centre of gravity and a higher mass take their toll. Yet, that’s still far quicker than most hot hatches available today.

Good news for hooligans too, the ESC can be fully switched off...

VW T-Roc R: the performance look, inside and out

Volkswagen has pledged to keep the GTI badge for its purist hot hatchbacks; however, it's quite happy to let go-faster SUVs wear the R moniker.

The front and rear bumpers have been completely redesigned removing the squircle day-running lights (DRLs) of the standard car in the process, there are matte chrome mirror caps, a roof spoiler and – as usual for an R model – four fat chromed tailpipes. The R runs on 18-inch alloys as standard, with 19s available – designed to house the fatter brakes the R gets as standard. The springs have been lowered, too.

T-Roc R interior

Inside the tweaks are a little sparser; metal pedals, an R-specfic wheel, R-embroidered performance seats. At least the T-Roc's ability to have some wild colour inserts on the dash brightens things up a bit.

VW T-Roc R: price and release date

Mainstream T-Roc crossovers are already selling well for VW; around 200,000 have been sold since the model's release date in November 2017. Given the Geneva motor show reveal, we expect the T-Roc to go on general sale in the second half of 2019, priced similarly to the Golf R.

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By Jake Groves

CAR's staff writer, office Geordie, gamer, lover of hot hatches

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