Volkswagen will continue its crossover offensive by launching a toned-down version of the T-Roc concept (pictured) that debuted at the 2014 edition of the Geneva Auto Show.
The T-Roc — a name that most likely won’t be retained for production — will be closely related to the new Audi Q2 sold in Europe. It will grow an extra pair of doors, and the open-top layout isn’t expected to fully make the transition from concept to production. However, AutoEvolution has learned that the crossover will offer removable roof panels similar to the Jeep Renegade’s. They’ll fit neatly in a compartment hidden under the trunk floor when the sun is shining.
The crossover will share its modular MQB platform with dozens of Volkswagen Group models including the aforementioned Q2, Audi’s A3 and TT models, and Volkswagen’s Golf and Atlas. Power will come from a turbocharged, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 170 horsepower and a generous 200 pound-feet of torque.
A dual-clutch automatic transmission and front-wheel drive will come standard. Buyers who want to take advantage of the T-Roc’s ground clearance to explore the great outdoors will be able to order Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system at an extra cost.
Insiders familiar with Volkswagen’s product plans told AutoEvolution that the production T-Roc will go on sale in Europe before the end of the year, meaning it might make its public debut in the fall at the biennial Frankfurt Auto Show. Volkswagen hasn’t commented on the rumor, so we’ll have to wait a few more months to find out what the future holds for the three-year-old design study.
Audi decided not to sell its Q2 on our shores due to its small dimensions, but the Golf-sized T-Roc will allegedly join Volkswagen’s North American lineup in early 2018. When it arrives, it will be positioned below the recently introduced second-generation Tiguan as a fun-oriented entry-level model.
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