Bet you didn't see this coming. In a piece of range expansion as predictable as the Big Mac with Bacon, VW has brought together its well established and very popular hot hatchback with its newish (and very popular) crossover to create a hot hatchback crossover that will no doubt prove very popular. Welcome, PHers of the world, to the Volkswagen T-Roc R.
Or rather, welcome to the VW T-Roc R concept; this vehicle, despite looking so showroom ready it might only have 30 miles of fuel in it, is officially described as a "near-production concept car", and will be shown at Geneva. Don't expect any great shocks in the spec, then, or for what's there to change much before production is confirmed.
Ready? The T-Roc R uses the Golf's 2.0-litre engine, here making 300hp and 295lb ft. With the seven-speed DSG and 4Motion all-wheel drive as standard, the T-Roc R will sprint to 62mph in less than five seconds and reach 155mph. Sound familiar?
The chassis is lower and stiffer than standard, VW's progressive steering is standard and the T-Roc's brakes are borrowed from the Golf R Performance. There's standard launch control that buyers will use twice, a Race mode in the setting selection for an "especially sporty driving experience" and, should that be insufficient, ESC that can be switched off "to ensure particularly dynamic driving on the edge."
In typically modest fast VW style, the T-Roc's look inside and out is pretty subdued - ignore the four exhausts and the R could almost pass for a 1.5-litre Design. Points that may be of interest include new body-coloured bumpers, an R-specific grille and rear diffuser. Confirmed colours - for a car still officially a concept, don't forget - have been announced as Lapiz Blue (from the Golf R), Metallic or Pure White Uni, Turmeric Yellow, Flash Red, Energetic Orange, Deep Black Pearl, White Silver and Iridium Grey. Interior highlights include decorative - their word, not ours - stitching in Crystal Grey, a smattering of R logos and stainless steel pedals. Options for this concept car include leather seats, an Akrapovic exhaust and a wheel upgrade from 18- to 19-inches.
Need another VW bingo box ticked? The T-Roc R was developed and tested on the Nordschleife, with WRX champion Petter Solberg and WTCR driver Benny Leuchter lending their skills. We can but hope for a car of the Golf Clubsport S's dynamic mastery, famously also brought to life on the Nurburgring. Given how close this T-Roc R looks to reaching buyers, presumably nobody is far off testing whether VW's self-proclaimed "perfect combination of performance and lifestyle" lives up to the hype. Watch this space.
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