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Volkswagen locks in T-Cross, T-Roc for early 2020

T-Cross, T-Roc small SUVs to enter Volkswagen showrooms in just over 12 months

21 Feb 2019

VOLKSWAGEN Group Australia (VGA) has confirmed timing for its “fashionably late” T-Cross and T-Roc small SUVs, with the critical pair to go on sale in early 2020 – nearly two years after the latter was originally expected to launch locally.
The Polo-based T-Cross and Golf-based T-Roc, which were revealed in October 2018 and August 2017 respectively, will join the Tiguan, Tiguan Allspace and Touareg in VGA’s broadening SUV line-up.
While full local details for either model are not expected to be released until the fourth quarter this year, VGA has confirmed that the T-Cross and T-Roc will be exclusively powered by turbo-petrol engines.
The Polo’s 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit has been confirmed for the front-wheel-drive T-Cross, with the 85TSI’s 85kW/200Nm tune all but locked in, while the 70TSI and its 70kW/175Nm are less likely due to Australia’s preference for higher-performance models.
No manual transmission will be offered locally, with the T-Cross set to be exclusively mated to a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic unit.
The non-performance T-Roc line-up is set to be topped by the all-wheel-drive 140TSI and its 140kW/320Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, while the front-wheel-drive 110TSI’s 110kW/250Nm 1.5-litre four-cylinder unit is likely to do range-opening honours.
As such, VGA is targeting sub-$30,000 and -$40,000 starting prices for the T-Cross and T-Roc respectively, ensuring both models are positioned as premium alternatives to their mainstream rivals.
The latter’s range could be topped by the soon-to-be-revealed T-Roc R performance flagship, which is expected to feature the Golf R hot hatch’s running gear, including its 228kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol four-cylinder engine.
Speaking to journalists this week at a media event in Brisbane, VGA product marketing manager Jeff Shafer said he also “would love to have” the T-Roc R, but certain challenges, such as Australia’s low petrol standard, could preclude its introduction.
“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.”
As reported, local 91 RON petrol has a sulphur level of 150 parts per million – 15 times that of Europe – meaning new engines are being developed to be exclusively compatible with higher-standard fuels, leaving Australia on the outside looking in until legislation changes.
VGA promises “segment-leading” advanced driver-assist systems will be fitted to both models, with these likely to include autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and lane-keep assist to meet the minimum requirements for a five-star safety rating from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).
An 8.0-inch touchscreen Discover Media infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support is expected to be standard, while the second-generation 10.25-inch Active Info Display digital instrument should also be available.
Specifically, the T-Roc will be available with three grades – Style, Sport and R-Line – which add unique styling elements inside and out to give it a more personalised look.
The latter grade is also set to be available with the T-Cross, which will have various alloy wheel designs that measure up to 18 inches in size.
Meanwhile, the T-Roc rims will max out at 19 inches, and it will be available with adaptive dampers and a power-operated tailgate.
Both T-Cross and T-Roc buyers will be able to choose from what VGA says is its “most vibrant and varied” colour palette yet, which includes two-tone options that introduce different cabin themes. 
VGA product manager Todd Ford reiterated that “unprecedented” European demand for the Portuguese-sourced T-Roc since its launch in December 2017 meant Australia had to wait its turn.
“It’s been a long and challenging time … (but) we will be among the very first markets outside of Europe to have series production of the T-Roc,” he said.
VGA had the opportunity last year to sell a small allocation of UK-market T-Rocs but declined due to the hard plastics used for their dashboards and front upper door shoulders.
This offer was also extended to New Zealand, which accepted, but VGA opted to wait for the Australian-market model that will instead feature soft-touch materials for these surfaces – a move that will ensure the T-Roc mirrors the cabin quality of the mechanically related Golf.
Riding on the MQB A0 platform, the Spanish-sourced T-Cross – which does not enter European showrooms until April this year – measures 4235mm long, 1782mm wide and 1584mm tall with a 2551mm wheelbase.
Cargo capacity is 385-455L (depending on whether the manually sliding second row is 140mm fore or aft), but this can expand to 1281L with the split-fold rear bench stowed.
Conversely, the T-Roc uses the ubiquitous MQB architecture and measures 4234mm long, 1819mm wide and 1573mm tall with a 2593mm wheelbase.
These dimensions equate to 445L of cargo capacity with the second row upright, or 1237L with it folded flat. However, the former falls to 392L if the T-Roc is optioned with the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system.

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