In advance of the Geneva Motor Show in Switzerland this week, Volkswagen decided to make their own news by pulling back the curtain on the T-Roc Concept, a small crossover SUV made to be a little greater than the Golf and a little lesser than the Tiguan. It’s a feisty “softroader”—how have we not thought of that before?—that is lean, agile, summery, and capable of scrambling up rocks thanks to 280 lb-ft of torque from its four-cylinder diesel engine.
We know, we know, we’re gushing too much. As we look at the design, however, it’s the sparingness of the body that appeals to us. That slightness is owing to the MQB platform which, if you can believe, girds many new vehicles across the VW universe including the new Audi TT. In the T-Roc’s case, the frame is strong enough to allow the concept to lose the top via removable roof halves. Just stow them in the trunk and you’ll be cruising with the air in your hair.
As of right now, front and rear cameras in T-Roc’s body—is it just us or is that starting to sounds like T-Rex?—feed into a removable tablet that pops right out of the center dash for your passengers to play with. Behind the wheel itself is an all-digital instrument cluster, an example of the technology sibling-company Audi showed off at the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year. LED lights in the front and rear insure that even at night people will know that you’re driving something special.
So will the T-Roc Concept become more than a concept and enter production cycles soon? Slow down there, Betty! It just came out as a concept after all—give it some time. The accompanying press release contained the enigmatic phrase: “With the world première of the T-ROC concept car the Volkswagen brand is giving a preview of a possible SUV range.” A possible SUV range? We would have thought “possible” was enough to say that you’re not sure what you’re doing with this thing, no need to go making it sound like a row of mountains.
All in all, this is a much more exciting design than the CrossBlue Concept, which had previously been our best hope for a new Volkswagen SUV.
Two tiny t-rex thumbs up.