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Frankfurt show: VW teases T-Roc compact SUV

Compact T-Roc SUV to be revealed next week and Volkswagen Australia is keen

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Volkswagen logo16 Aug 2017

By ROBBIE WALLIS

VOLKSWAGEN has teased its upcoming T-Roc compact SUV with a video and a series of concept sketches, ahead of a global reveal next week and its public debut at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

While timing for the diminutive high-riding wagon has not yet been confirmed, Volkswagen Australia general manager of corporate communications Paul Pottinger said the company was keen on securing the T-Roc for Australia.

“It’s a vehicle we’re very keenly after, we’re very optimistic about it but we can’t absolutely confirm timing at this point, but we will be able to do so in a few weeks at Frankfurt,” he said.

Judging by the images, the design of the production T-Roc remains faithful to the concept that was revealed three years ago at the 2014 Geneva motor show, although the open-top roof and three-door body style has been ditched in favour of a more practical hard-top roof and five doors.

Notable design cues include a wide, hexagonal grille surrounded by LED headlights that is reminiscent of VW Group stablemate Audi’s Q5 and Q7 SUVs.

Nestled underneath the headlights are ringed LED strips for the daytime running lights and indicators, with a trapezoidal lower grille finishing off the front fascia.

The tail-lights are similar to the T-Roc’s larger sibling, the Tiguan, with a wide LED light design that narrows towards the centre.

Snippets of the cabin show a two-tone design with flourishes of the car’s exterior colour along the dash and door trim.

Volkswagen Group Australia managing director Michael Bartsch told GoAuto last month that the company was looking to fill the gaps in its current SUV line-up in order to boost sales.

“First of all, we don’t have the breadth that we would ideally like in the SUVs. We don’t have the (Mazda) CX-9 competitor, or the CX-3 competitor, and so on,” he said.

“And when 51 per cent of the market is SUV, but it represents only 23, 24 per cent of what we’re selling, you can see that there’s a massive disconnect.” Concrete details on the T-Roc are thin on the ground, however it has been confirmed that it will be built on Volkswagen’s versatile MQB platform, shared by models such as the Golf, Passat, Tiguan, upcoming Polo and a number of Audi and Skoda models.

A likely powertrain for the T-Roc will be the new 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol unit revealed at last year’s Vienna Motor Symposium, which is said to reduce fuel consumption over the 1.4-litre unit currently powering the Golf, Jetta and Tiguan.

Volkswagen’s seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission would make a sensible fit, and front-wheel drive is the most likely configuration for the T-Roc.

There is the possibility of introducing a turbo-diesel variant, but given the T-Roc’s urban persona customer demand could determine whether an oil-burning variant makes it here.

The T-Roc premiere will take place on August 23, ahead of its public debut at Frankfurt on September 12.

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