Volkswagen T-ROC concept makes its debut

3 Mar, 2014 9:55pm Nick Gibbs

New Volkswagen T-ROC SUV at the Geneva Motor Show previews a sub-Tiguan Golf-sized model for 2016

This is the new Volkswagen T-ROC concept, which previews an SUV to possibly sit between the forthcoming up!-based Taigun and the Tiguan.

"The Taigun we will do, it has a good chance, this [the T-ROC] has an even bigger chance, the Tiguan is already done and the Touareg is a certainty," Klaus Bishoff, head of VW design told us.

The three-door T-ROC has surprised Geneva Motor Show visitors with its radical styling. Its large, round headlamps echo the Nissan Juke’s, while the high-mounted honeycomb grille and lower sill guard create the feeling that this four-wheel-drive car could excel off-road. At the back, the bold circular themes are repeated above the exhausts, while the geometrical LED lights sit up high.

The concept uses the same MQB platform as the Golf and other VW Group cars, but here it’s shrunk to 4,179mm in length to match supermini SUVs such as the Renault Captur. VW claims its Golf GTD 181bhp 2.0-litre diesel would push the T-ROC from 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds and average 58mpg. A seven-speed DSG sends power through the 4MOTION drivetrain using three modes for on-road, off-road or on-snow motoring.

Partial open-air driving is available via a removable roof section that’s stored in the boot, much like the system on the Jeep Renegade. The cabin boasts an iPad-like 12.3-inch touchscreen, which can show images from outboard-mounted cameras that reveal any tricky under-wheel terrain.

Don't expect the removeable roof to make production, although there's still a chance of three and a five-door production versions. "The removeable roof is a designer's dream, we'll need to convince the board about that one. Making a three-door is just a question of how many people buy it, but we haven't ruled it out," Bishoff told us. 

A production version of the T-ROC would give VW a much-needed rival to the Captur, Nissan Juke, Dacia Duster, Peugeot 2008 and Vauxhall Mokka, but it’s not due until 2016.