296bhp Volkswagen T-Roc R shown at Geneva motor show

Volkswagen’s first compact performance SUV revealed with Golf R underpinnings

There seems to be a new class of hot hatch emerging, except they aren’t really hatchbacks, but compact performance SUVs. This is Volkswagen’s new example, shoehorning a 296bhp EA888 turbocharged four-cylinder from the Golf R into its compact (but not too compact) T-Roc to create the T-Roc R.

If this sounds like a familiar recipe from within the Volkswagen group, you’d be right, as the new Audi SQ2 and Cupra Ateca both feature the same powertrain in similarly sized SUVs, all of which are built on the same MQB platform. The T-Roc R is 0.5sec quicker than the Ateca in terms of acceleration, reaching 62mph in 4.9sec, but is slightly slower than the SQ2 by 0.1sec. Power is directed to all four wheels via a Haldex all-wheel-drive system, while the only transmission option is a seven-speed DSG. Top speed is limited to 155mph.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

> Click here for our review of the Volkswagen Golf R

Part of the T-Roc R’s upgraded dynamic package is a lowered suspension set-up, larger brakes, and a new dynamic steering system. As an option, you can also specify a fruity Akrapovič exhaust system, something also found on the Golf R. Combining these dynamic elements is the selectable driver mode system, which now includes a dubiously titled ‘Race’ mode integrating a launch-control function which helps the T-Roc R achieve that sub-five second 0-62mph time.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

Volkswagen has also fitted the usual suite of ‘R’ design elements inside and out, including 18-inch wheels, redesigned bumpers and quad exhaust outlets. Inside, the changes are equally subtle, with only badging, new seats, and some updated materials letting you know there is anything even reasonably potent under the skin. 

Currently, the most potent T-Roc is the 2-litre TSi 4Motion model which makes do with 188bhp, meaning this generous 108bhp jump should make the T-Roc a considerably more entertaining car to drive. Question is, do these compact performance SUVs bring anything new to the performance car party, or are they just bloated, overweight versions of the hot hatchbacks they seem to be based on? Time will tell.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/volkswagen/202282/new-volkswagen-touareg-r-revealed-vws-performance-flagship-goes-hybrid
Volkswagen

New Volkswagen Touareg R revealed – VW’s performance flagship goes hybrid

24 Feb 2020
Visit/volkswagen/202229/volkswagen-arteon-shooting-brake-spied
Volkswagen

Volkswagen Arteon Shooting Brake spied

13 Feb 2020
Visit/volkswagen/22170/volkswagen-id-r-everything-you-need-to-know
Volkswagen

Volkswagen ID R: everything you need to know

3 Feb 2020
Visit/volkswagen/201750/volkswagen-id3-r-to-receive-tech-from-track-only-idr
Volkswagen

Volkswagen ID.3 R to receive tech from track-only ID.R 

3 Feb 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/porsche/911-turbo/202379/new-porsche-911-turbo-gains-lightweight-and-sport-packages
Porsche 911 Turbo

New Porsche 911 Turbo gains Lightweight and Sport packages 

The 2020 Porsche 911 Turbo hasn’t been with us for long, but a raft of packages and optional extras are already in the pipeline
26 Mar 2020
Visit/land-rover/defender/202375/new-land-rover-defender-x-p400-review
Land Rover Defender

New Land Rover Defender X P400 review

Land Rover’s all new Defender proves to be worth the wait and is now as capable on road as it is off it. It’s no driver’s car but as a do everything m…
25 Mar 2020
Visit/corvette/202016/1200bhp-hennessey-c8-corvette-shown-testing-on-video
Corvette

1200bhp Hennessey C8 Corvette shown testing on video

The C8 Corvette has only just hit showrooms, but Hennessey Performance already has big plans...
26 Mar 2020
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019