Volkswagen's Totally Toned-down T-Roc to Debut August 23rd

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
volkswagen s totally toned down t roc to debut august 23rd

It’s the moment you’ve been waiting for. No, not the unveiling of Fiat Chrysler’s pavement-incinerating Dodge Demon, nor Tesla’s world — no, universe-saving Model 3.

No, the hottest thing in the land is the crossover, and no crossover breaks with staid utility vehicle norms quite like Volkswagen’s radical, two-door, pillarless, targa-top creation, the compact T-Roc. Hold on, that was the concept. Scratch that. The four-door, fixed-roof, happily pillared product of the concept’s metamorphosis will soon get its time in the spotlight, having been green-lit for production by a profit-focused VW.

The T-Roc, which kept the 2014 concept’s name despite dropping its ready-for-the-beach bodystyle, gets its big reveal on August 23rd, ahead of a global premiere at next month’s Frankfurt Auto Show. Can you handle it?

While some might say the production T-Roc, spotted earlier this year sans camouflage, bears a resemblance (when viewed from the front, anyway) to Ford’s Escape or even the defunct Dodge Caliber, it’s nonetheless an important product designed to bolster the recently introduced Atlas and newly enlarged 2018 Tiguan in VW’s U.S. lineup. As the brand’s smallest crossover, the T-Roc will slot below the previous-generation Tiguan, which stays on as the Tiguan Limited.

Having been drained of cash due to its own wrongdoing, VW’s post-Dieselgate hopes clearly lie in popular, high-profit crossovers. However, we’ll see the T-Roc well before Americans have the chance to buy one.

Production kicks off in the second half of this year, with the first vehicles going to European buyers. The T-Roc won’t arrive on North American shores for perhaps another year. According to a video released by VW, the model should contain the digital instrument display seen in the next-generation Golf. Not surprising, given it shares the Golf’s MQB platform.

What powerplants will make it to America remains unknown, but likely candidates include the new 150-horsepower 1.5-liter TSI four-cylinder and more than one version of VW’s turbocharged 2.0-liter. A 48-volt mild hybrid setup remains a possibility, potentially giving the T-Roc an enviable fuel economy figure.

[Image: CarPix, Volkswagen/YouTube]

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  • Clueless Economist Clueless Economist on Aug 03, 2017

    Car companies need to stop over promising with cool concepts to only disappoint with the production model. VW has some serious style issues. First the Atlas and now this. Both are horrible designs. The T-Roc concept would have been a winner. The production version not so much.

    • Whynot Whynot on Aug 03, 2017

      Style depends on your taste. I don't find either the Atlas or the T-Roc to be horrible designs. Just conservative if not a little derivative. Nothing wrong with that, at the very least 10 years from now the Atlas/T-Roc will have aged far better than some of its contemporaries (especially the C-HR). Daring designs are eye catching at first, but also quickly fall out of fashion and look outdated (example: 6th gen Sonata).

  • Clueless Economist Clueless Economist on Aug 03, 2017

    whynot, I agree with your comments in general about daring designs can look dated with time whereas conservative designs less so. The 2018 GMC Terrain is a good example of that. Not that the Terrain is a good design now, but it will look dated quickly. However, to my eye, the Atlas isn't just conservative, it is an unappealing design. I may be wrong, but I don't think it will ever sell in numbers VW needs for it to in order to be successful. The concept T-Roc was a good design. Period. It would have sold well if offered in both two and four doors.

    • Th009 Th009 on Aug 03, 2017

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are plenty of cars on the market that I personally find unattractive but have sold in the hundreds of thousands. Whether the Atlas will find lots of buyers or not will become clear in the next six months or so as production volumes ramp up. T-Roc will take longer, of course.

  • ToolGuy Seems pretty reasonable to me. (Sorry)
  • Luke42 When I moved from Virginia to Illinois, the lack of vehicle safety inspections was a big deal to me. I thought it would be a big change.However, nobody drives around in an unsafe car when they have the money to get their car fixed and driving safely.Also, Virginia's inspection regimine only meant that a car was safe to drive one day a year.Having lived with and without automotive safety inspections, my confusion is that they don't really matter that much.What does matter is preventing poverty in your state, and Illinois' generally pro-union political climate does more for automotive safety (by ensuring fair wages for tradespeople) than ticketing poor people for not having enough money to maintain their cars.
  • ToolGuy When you are pulled over for speeding, whether you are given a ticket or not should depend on how attractive you are.Source: My sister 😉
  • Kcflyer What Toyota needs is a true full size body on frame suv to compete with the Expedition and Suburban and their badge engineered brethren. The new sequoia and LX are too compromised in capacity by their off road capabilities that most buyers will never use.
  • ToolGuy Rock crushes scissors, scissors cut paper, paper covers rock, and drywall dents sheet metal.