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WLTP delays Volkswagen T-Cross launch in Australia

Volkswagen Group Australia changes T-Cross plans due to WLTP homologation

Volkswagen logo26 Oct 2018

THE Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP) has forced Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA) to push back the launch date for its T-Cross small SUV that was fully revealed overnight, with the critical new model now set to touch down in the first half of 2020.
 
Speaking to GoAuto, VGA general manager of communications Paul Pottinger revealed that the WLTP European legislation’s strict homologation process has impacted Australia’s access to the T-Cross, which was recently expected to enter showrooms in the second half of next year.
 
“We hope to have it in about 18 months,” he said. “WLTP continues to exert its influence on all matters of product planning.”
 
As reported by GoAuto, VGA is still keen for the Golf-related T-Roc small SUV to join the Polo-based T-Cross in its model line-up, but it may not go on sale until 2021 at the earliest due to WLTP.
 
Mr Pottinger added that WLTP will “no doubt” also impact what engines the T-Cross will be available with Down Under, although “it’s too early to say” which of the confirmed options will be part of its line-up.
 
Four turbocharged engines will be offered globally, including a 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol in two states of tune (70kW and 85kW), an 110kW 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol and a 70kW 1.6-litre four-cylinder diesel.
 
All options will be compliant with the latest Euro 6d-TEMP emissions standard, as well as WLTP, partly thanks to the standard fitment of particulate filters.
 
While the T-Cross’ exterior design was more or less shown wearing light camouflage earlier this week, its interior has been outed for the first time, with the Polo’s design language clearly shining through, save for an all-new gear selector.
 
The front-wheel-drive T-Cross is built on Volkswagen Group’s MQB A0 platform, which is used by several of its hatchbacks, including the Audi A1 and Skoda Scala.
 
Measuring in at 4110mm long, the five-seat T-Cross has a 2560mm wheelbase, while its rear bench can be moved up to 14cm, with cargo capacity behind ranging from 385 to 455L. Alternatively, with the split-fold second row stowed, storage volume can grow to 1281L.
 
The T-Cross’ suite of advanced driver-assist systems extends to low-speed autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-keep and hill-start assist, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, park assist, driver attention warning, and proactive occupant protection.
 
Other available equipment includes wireless smartphone charging, four USB ports, a touchscreen infotainment system and a digital instrument cluster.
 
According to Volkswagen, “this completely new model will soon be captivating hearts … with its combination of style, practicality, flexibility, connectivity and economy, and it sets new standards for its class in many respects”.
 
Volkswagen will manufacture the T-Cross in Spain, South America and China, with the latter two growth markets producing market-specific versions of the small SUV.
 
In order to prepare the Spanish factory in Navarra, Volkswagen will invest €1 billion ($A1.61 billion) by 2019, which will help to increase the plant’s workforce by 10 per cent.
 
When it enters the Australian market, the T-Cross will join the highly competitive sub-$40,000 small-SUV segment that has grown by 24.9 per cent to the end of September this year.
 
This class is currently led by the Mitsubishi ASX (14,734), Mazda CX-3 (12,649), Nissan Qashqai (10,565), Subaru XV (10,503), Honda HR-V (9522) and Hyundai Kona (9334), among others.

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