Volkswagen T-Roc revealed
This is our first look at the Volkswagen T-Roc, sitting below the Tiguan in the line-up. Based on the Volkswagen Group's MQB platform, the T-Roc is just 4,234mm long (that's a whopping 252mm shy of a Tiguan, itself not a huge machine) with a wheelbase of 2,603mm. Wide and low, with short overhangs and broad track widths, the T-Roc has a sporty, coupe-like stance, emphasised by the sweeping roofline that can be highlighted in a contrast colour to the bodywork to up the kerb appeal considerably. Further signifiers of the new boy are the distinctive daytime running lights surrounding the grille-like sections at the outer edges of the front bumper, the sleek side lines (including the dramatically bold wheel arch styling flourishes) plus the chrome detail that runs from A-pillar to C-pillar (which you get even if you don't option up the contrast roof) and a neat rear-end with strong, horizontal features and LED lights.
Familiar Volkswagen Group switchgear and displays abound inside the T-Roc's cabin, but what cannot be missed is that the T-Roc has the potential to have bright, body-coloured bits of trim splashed around its interior. This reinforces its youthful appeal and it certainly lifts what is otherwise a fairly conservative, if no doubt high-class, cockpit. Tech highlights include the option of specifying the 11.7-inch, 133dpi Active Info Display fully digital instrument cluster, infotainment systems with either 6.5- or eight-inch touchscreens being available, ambient lighting, a load of connectivity courtesy of Volkswagen Car-Net, inductive charging for smartphones and a Beats 300-watt sound system.
But the use of a relatively long wheelbase (compared to the body length) allows for plenty of space. Volkswagen says the T-Roc can accommodate five passengers and, with a full complement of humans on board, there's still 445 litres available in the boot at the back, making it one of the biggest cargo bays in the segment. Fold down the rear 60:40 split seats and that figure rises to 1,290 litres, which is pretty capacious for a vehicle of this class. And, as a final cherry on the cake, the front seat height above the road surface is at least 572mm, so the T-Roc should feel commanding from behind the wheel, further adding to its practical appeal.
Familiar engines ranging from 115- to 190hp will be offered, as will the choice of front-wheel or four-wheel '4Motion' drive, plus the choice of six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG transmissions. We'll run down the full range in a moment, but here in Ireland, we know that the launch models will be a 115hp 1.0-litre TSI, a 150hp 1.5-litre TSI manual and a 2.0 TDI 4Motion, also with 150hp. Joining them in early 2018 will be a DSG version of the 1.5 TSI and the 115hp 1.6 TDI. Trim lines will run Trendline, Comfortline and Highline, as usual.
No official word on performance or fuel economy for any of these as yet, although we do know the 150hp TSI will have Active Cylinder Management, meaning it can run on two cylinders if it needs to in order to save fuel. Even the 4Motion system will disengage the rear axle in almost all situations, to help conserve resources. Further driving systems will include drive mode profiles, Adaptive Cruise Control, Adaptive Chassis Control (adjustable damping, in essence), progressive steering and a whole host of driver assist safety systems - including Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, Lane Assist and Front Assist with Pedestrian Monitoring and City Emergency Braking as standard on every model. Items such as Dynamic Road Sign Display, a rear-view camera, Blind Spot Monitor, Traffic Jam Assist, Driver Alert System and much more will be options.
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