Volkswagen previews new SUV

Volkswagen previews new SUV

Feb 28, 2014

Volkswagen previews new SUV

What's the news?
These stylish drawings show us what the star of Volkswagen's Geneva stand will look like - this is the T-ROC, a compact SUV concept that previews the look of all the company's 4x4s to come.

The two-door, four-seat T-ROC was penned by Walter de Silva and Klaus Bischoff, of Volkswagen Design, and it is said to 'advance the brand's SUV DNA, while also preserving its history'. Volkswagen wishes to draw attention to the distinctive front end, with its '3D' radiator grille, LED headlights, daytime running lights, and indicators and round headlamp nodules said to invoke the spirit of the Karmann Ghia Type 34. There are also LED lights at the rear.

In what will probably be yet another niche the German manufacturers can flood with multiple variables, the T-ROC is technically a compact SUV convertible (or maybe a T-top). The middle section of its carbon composite roof can be removed in two halves and then stashed in the boot.

The funky interior is unlikely to ever make it to production in this guise, but of course there are plenty of Volkswagen signatures and components in there that could. The main talking point is the multi-touch 12.3-inch colour display locked into the dashboard, onto which front- and rear-mounted cameras can project images of the surrounding terrain when off-roading.

The T-ROC is based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform - as absolutely everything else in the Volkswagen Group seems to be these days - meaning it is pretty compact. At 4,179mm, 1,831mm wide and 1,501mm tall, it's considerably smaller than the Tiguan you can buy in showrooms, but it's bigger than the Taigun concept shown recently at the New Delhi Auto Expo. This means Volkswagen will soon have a four-model SUV line-up in the manner BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi do as well.

It has a wide track front and rear plus short overhangs at either end, and sits on 19-inch alloys with 245/45 section tyres. Power comes from the Golf GTD's 2.0-litre unit, here making 184hp and 380Nm, the latter from just 1,750rpm. It drives through a seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox and powers all wheels, meaning 4Motion badging. This apparently furnishes the T-ROC with the ability to hit 100km/h from rest in 6.9 seconds, a top speed of 210km/h and yet 57.6mpg combined economy with emissions of 129g/km CO2.

There are three driving modes - Street, Offroad and Snow - which are selectable by a rotary dial on the DSG gear lever, with the relevant information of which set-up you've chosen shown on the fully digital instrument cluster. Finally, the T-ROC is said to weigh just 1,420kg, which is pretty svelte by today's standards.

Anything else?
The name is derived from the T-initialled SUVs already in existence - production Tiguan and Touareg models, plus the aforementioned Taigun concept - while the ROC is said to mean the all-wheel drive car is as at home on rocky trails as it is on tarmac.

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