Let's get this out of the way right now: Volkswagen is going to build something like this T-Roc Concept. With its flexible new MQB architecture and a diverse family of suitable powertrains that include gas, diesel, compressed natural gas, plug-in hybrid and pure electric models, the idea of another Golf-sized crossover to slot in under the Tiguan is simply too good to pass up.
Having said that, we strongly suspect that if and when such a vehicle comes to market, it probably won't get the three-door bodystyle shown here. We inquired with Dr. Heinz-Jakob Neußer, head of VW Group powertrain development at the Geneva Motor Show during a media roundtable, and he quickly acknowledged the heightened viability of a five-door model:
More proof of the T-Roc's production intent can be seen in its decidedly ordinary-for-a-showcar powertrain: a 2.0-liter TDI four-cylinder with 182 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque matched with VW's seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. Unlike some crossovers, the T-Roc also plays at having a bit of off-road capability thanks to its 4Motion all-wheel-drive system with multiple modes (Street, Off-Road and Snow) along with features like Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assit.
"We are just checking the style, the design. It's a more progressive design - a more dynamic design. With a very masculine design proportion. For that we decided for the showcar, now, the three-door version, but we are also thinking about a five-door version. That's clear. Because If you look at overall markets, there's a strong need to have five doors."
We're not sure that the T-Roc's liftout ceiling panels will make it to production, but there seems to be a new trend toward more flexible roof arrangements with these smaller lifestyle vehicles (as most recently evidenced by the new Jeep Renegade and its three different roof configurations), so we wouldn't rule out Volkswagen letting a little sun shine in.
Related GalleryVolkswagen T-Roc Concept: Geneva 2014
Volkswagen concept car provides preview of new SUV range
Wolfsburg, 3 March 2014 – On the evening before the Geneva International Motor Show the Volkswagen Group traditionally presents its highlights. With the world première of the T-ROC concept car the Volkswagen brand is giving a preview of a possible SUV range. The striking features of the concept car include its progressive design, the front section with the LED headlights and two removable roof halves.
With the Tiguan and Touareg Volkswagen has in its model range two of the most successful SUVs (sports utility vehicles) of European origin. In the future, Germany's largest car manufacturer will be expanding this spectrum appreciably with new models in a variety of classes. Coming up at the Geneva International Motor Show (4th to 16th March): the world première of the T-ROC, a Golf-format concept car positioned a step down from the Tiguan. Following the CrossBlue (USA), CrossBlue Coupé (China) and also Taigun (India) concept cars, Volkswagen is once again giving a look ahead to possible future SUV models.
The T-ROC follows a new design line and interior style, with the progressive design of the front section being particularly striking. The two-door vehicle also combines the talents of an all-wheel drive SUV - which doesn't capitulate even when faced with rocky off-road tracks - with the summery airiness of a convertible. The middle section of the roof consists of two halves that with just a few flicks can be taken off and stowed in the boot. Front and rear cameras, which are backed up in the dark by LED headlights, extend the driver's field of vision.
Powered by a 135 kW / 184 PS turbo-diesel direct injection engine, the T-ROC is equipped with three different driving modes: 'Street', 'Off-road' and 'Snow'. The parameters of the 4Motion drive train, 7-speed DSG (dual-clutch gearbox), ABS, Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control vary depending on the mode selected. The 2.0 TDI engine's fuel consumption is a low 4.9 l/100 km, while maximum torque is 380 Nm.
The vehicle body has been designed based on the Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB). Thanks to lightweight construction the SUV weighsjust 1,420 kg. Visually striking features include the relatively short overhangs and the multi-part 19-inch alloy wheels with size 245/45 tyres.