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 have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

> 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/202520/visiting-volkswagen-autostadt-museum
Volkswagen

Visiting Volkswagen Autostadt museum

24 Apr 2020
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/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/lamborghini/202829/tecnomar-launches-4000hp-v12-lamborghini-yacht
Lamborghini

Tecnomar launches 4000hp V12 Lamborghini yacht

The V12-powered yacht is Tecnomar’s most capable offering yet, and takes inspiration from Lamborghini’s most recent models
30 Jun 2020
Visit/lamborghini/202866/lamborghini-sian-roadster-revealed-with-808bhp-electrified-v12
Lamborghini

Lamborghini Sián Roadster revealed with 808bhp electrified V12

The supercapacitor-equipped Lamborghini Sián has ditched its roof with a new roadster variant
8 Jul 2020
Visit/news/21596/ares-panther-progettouno-reborn-de-tomaso-pantera-hits-the-road
News

Ares Panther ProgettoUno – reborn De Tomaso Pantera hits the road

5.2-litre V10 and pop-up headlights for Dany Bahar’s reimagined supercar
9 Jul 2020
Visit/mercedes/s-class/22543/new-2020-mercedes-s-class-interior-tech-detailed
Mercedes S-Class

New ​2020 Mercedes S-class interior tech detailed 

Mercedes-Benz reveals tech offerings of the next S-class, ahead of its launch later this year
9 Jul 2020