Desperate for more utility vehicles in the U.S. market, Volkswagen has reportedly green-lit a sporty crossover concept that has made the auto show rounds since 2014.
The T-Roc, which shares the same MQB platform as the Golf, debuted as a two-door compact crossover with a targa-like removable roof and pillarless side glass. Just don’t expect the T-Roc to drop its top when it appears in the U.S. in 2019. Oh, and the two-door thing? Don’t expect that, either.
According to Automotive News, Volkswagen’s American dealer network has given the T-Roc a thumbs up, meaning there’s broad confidence in the model’s ability to sell. The model will slot below the next-generation Tiguan and held-over previous generation model.
While the source’s claim is big product news for the U.S., overseas markets are already anticipating T-Roc deliveries in the second half of this year. European customers can expect standard front-wheel drive, with optional 4Motion all-wheel drive. Naturally, Golf engines reside under the hood. Likely, VW’s turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder will be the U.S. go-to powerplant.
While similar drive wheel choices should appear in the U.S., the T-Roc might see a name change first.
Two weeks ago, VW North American Region CEO Hinrich Woebcken bemoaned the brand’s “severely underrepresented” utility vehicle presence in the U.S., hinting that another large crossover might appear on the Atlas’ platform. There was no mention of the T-Roc, but adding it would bring the brand’s ultimate utility count to six (including the yet-unannounced large CUV). It would also give the brand a product with youthful appeal.
A report from earlier this year claims the fun and edgy concept will have a tall glass of cold water poured over it before reaching production. Two-door utility vehicles no longer fly, so expect a four-door model built in the style of the concept. Removable roof panels will let in some air, but don’t hold out hope for a targa experience. It isn’t known if the rear doors will be center-hinged or of an abbreviated clamshell design.
As you’ve no doubt observed, there are plenty of details yet to be pinned down for this model. That includes where it’ll be built. U.S.-bound production models could be built in Mexico or imported from Europe.