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

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems

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]

Steph Willems
Steph Willems

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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.

  • 3-On-The-Tree Lou_BCsame here I grew up on 2-stroke dirt bikes had a 1985 Yamaha IT200 2-strokes then a 1977 Suzuki GT750 2-stroke 750 streetike fast forward to 2002 as a young flight school Lieutenant I bought a 2002 suzuki Hayabusa 1300 up in Huntsville Alabama. Still have that bike.
  • Milton Rented one for about a month. Very solid EV. Not as fun as my Polestar, but for a go to family car, solid. Practical EV ownership is only made possible with a home charger.
  • J Love mine, but the steering wheel blocks dashboard a bit, can't see turn signals nor headlights icons. They could use the upper corners of the screen for the turn signals. Mileage is much lower than shown too, disappointing
  • Aja8888 NO!
  • OrpheusSail I once did. My first four cars were American made, and through an odd set of circumstances surrounding a divorce, I wound up with a '95 Nissan Maxima which was fourteen years old and had about 150,000 miles on it.It was drove better, had an amazing engine, and was more reliable than any of my American cars. This included a new '95 GMC pickup that went through five alternators in under two years while the dealership insisted that there was no underlying electrical problem while they tried to run the clock on the warranty.That was the end of 'buy American'. I've bought from Honda and VW since, and I'll consider just about anything except American now.