When Volkswagen debuted its T-Roc subcompact crossover, it made it clear it wouldn’t be offered in the U.S. despite how popular that segment is here. That makes little business sense to us, but we can’t say we’re that disappointed to miss another CUV. The newest T-Roc variant, however, looks precisely like something we’d like to drive.
Instead of the regular T-Roc’s 148-hp gas engine, the T-Roc R gets the Golf R’s 2.0-liter turbo-four tuned to make 296 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque—all in a package roughly the same length as the Jeep Renegade. All-wheel drive comes standard, as does a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. VW claims it’s pretty quick, too, launching from 0 to 62 mph in a claimed 4.9 seconds.
The T-Roc R also comes with a lowered suspension, larger brakes, 18-inch wheels (19s are optional), and the requisite sportier appearance goodies. There’s a Race mode for when you want to really have fun, and stability control can be fully turned off. Oh, and there are R badges scattered throughout the cabin and stainless-steel pedals.
Even though the T-Roc R won’t come to the U.S., it’s nice to see VW offering more true R models and it shows the company is intent on creating performance SUVs and crossovers. Hopefully one or more of them come Stateside, and perhaps we’ll see an R version of the vehicle in this segment VW is developing for our market. As for the T-Roc R, Volkswagen didn’t say anything about pricing or an on-sale date so Europeans will have to hope for more information in that regard at the official reveal in Geneva next month.