By on April 27, 2017

[Image: Volkswagen/Youtube]

It was hard not to like the funky Volkswagen T-Roc concept when it appeared at pre-diesel scandal auto shows. Two doors! A targa-like removable top! Pillarless side glass! A low-slung, athletic body primed for on- and off-road adventures!

C’mon, folks — that’s fun stuff. Sadly, reality intervened, and the production-bound T-Roc is not the party animal it was in college.

In a revealing teaser video issued by VW, a camouflaged T-Roc is seen blasting through an arid landscape, presumably on its way to your driveway. It’s our best look yet at the model, which is scheduled to bow in Europe later this year and is reportedly green-lit for a utility-hungry America.

Minus its compact dimensions and optional 4Motion all-wheel drive, there’s clearly something missing from this production vehicle: everything that made the concept interesting.

Volkswagen T-Roc

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an image of the new T-Roc. Back in March, a strange image emerged from the Geneva Motor Show appearing to show the production model. Well, VW’s new video bears it out. A deep, lower-body crease and bulging wheel arches, though camouflaged, remain, as does the conventional four-door configuration.

Out back, sharply raked rear glass and a short overhang lends the T-Roc some sporty design credentials. On the whole, there’s nothing offensive to see, and the Golf-based crossover seems poised to please a good number of CUV shoppers.

And that’s exactly why the 2014 concept’s design cues are nowhere to be found. This model isn’t meant to satisfy the jaundiced eyes of yours truly. It’s aimed at being profitable in a vast and competitive market and bringing a cash-starved Volkswagen piles of revenue. In the U.S. market, where utility vehicles are VW’s new Job One, the T-Roc would fill a troublesome (and potentially lucrative) gap below the Tiguan.

Volkswagen T-Roc

While it’s understandable that Volkswagen would cave to the realities of doing business and turn the T-Roc into something more than a nice model, there’s something odd in this video. Many European publications made mention of the production T-Roc’s anticipated roof panels, which would either retract or be removable (a la Jeep Renegade). Well, the video shows nothing but steel. Not even a glass sunroof in sight.

That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. As VW hasn’t even debuted the model yet, it’s possible this vehicle is merely a pre-production unit devoid of optional add-ons. Time will tell if a vestigial tribute to the concept’s open roof shows up on dealer-bound T-Rocs.

[Image: Volkswagen/YouTube]

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3 Comments on “Volkswagen T-Roc: If You Loved the Concept, You Won’t Recognize the Real Thing...”

  • avatar

    No mystery here. It will look a lot like this:
    Audi Q2

  • avatar

    So far as I can tell, this is a real uncamo’d pic from a few weeks ago. Much better view than what is posted here.

    The T-Roc was interesting, but not my cup of tea. This could conceivably be configured with off road package with exterior bolt ons, sans roof, or something that could give it much of the same flare but, clearly watered down concept.

  • avatar
    Clueless Economist

    Me: I am buying the Hyundai Santa Cruz when it comes out.
    Hyundai: You didn’t actually think we had the balls to make a small truck that got good gas mileage did you? Who would want that?
    Me: Apparently all the Ford Ranger owners who refuse to get rid of their four cylinder trucks.

    Me: If VW actually produces the T-Roc with only two doors then I will buy it even if it doesn’t come with a diesel.
    VW: We are VW. We only make boring crap.
    Me: That’s right. I remember. Oh, by the way, the new Atlas is hideous AND boring. Good job, VW, that should turn your fortunes around in the States.

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