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Geneva show: Volkswagen unveils hi-po T-Roc R SUV

Top-spec Volkswagen T-Roc R revealed with 221kW engine, Aus debut unclear

26 Feb 2019

VOLKSWAGEN has ripped the covers off its T-Roc R small SUV flagship ahead of a public debut at next month’s Geneva motor show, which packages a potent four-cylinder engine, all-wheel drive and performance-oriented componentry, however an Australian debut still remains up in the air.
 
As expected, the T-Roc R scores the 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine borrowed from the Golf R, outputting 221kW/400Nm and mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with the brand’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive set-up.
 
However, Australia’s low quality of fuel may prove to be a roadblock in getting the T-Roc R Down Under, with Australia’s 91RON unleaded fuel having 150 parts of sulphur per million – 15 times that of Europe – meaning new engines are being developed specifically for vehicles with a higher fuel quality.
 
Last week, Volkswagen Group Australia product marketing manager Jeff Shafer said the company was keen to get its hand son the T-Roc R, however the low fuel quality could prove to be prohibitive.
 
“We’ll do everything we can to get that to Australia and as soon as possible, but there’s certainly no plan at the moment,” he said. “I think it’s a product that will work really well in this market.”
 
221kW of power combined with a launch control feature allows the T-Roc R to sprint from standstill to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds, and on to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h.
 
Aiding handling is lowered suspension compared to the non-performance variants, speed-sensitive steering and a 17-inch brake package, while different drive modes are available including race mode, which optimises the engine, transmission and traction settings for a particularly dynamic drive.
 
The R also brings a number of sporty styling touches over its regular counterparts, with a redesigned radiator grille featuring ‘R’ badging and a band of anodised aluminium running along the width of the grille, colour-coded bumpers, integrated daytime running lights, quad-exit exhausts, a rear diffuser and 18-inch alloys. 19-inch hoops are also offered as an optional extra.
 
Inside, the T-Roc R scores seats with the ‘R’ logo embroidered, R-specific multifunction steering wheel with paddle shifters, black headliner and stainless steel pedals.
 
As recently reported, the regular T-Roc small SUV range has been confirmed for Australia with an arrival in early 2020 alongside the smaller, Polo-based T-Cross.
 
Both models will be powered exclusively by turbo-petrol engines, with the T-Roc range likely to feature a 110kW/250Nm 1.5-litre range-opener and a more potent 140kW/320Nm 140TSI 2.0-litre option.
 
Volkswagen Australia is targeting a sub-$40,000 opening price for the T-Roc, meaning it will sit upstream of volume-selling rivals such as the Mazda CX-3 and Mitsubishi ASX.

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