Volkswagen could launch a Golf-sized crossover with removable roof panels

Volkswagen T-Roc concept
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.

Product Review

By adding features, tech, and all-wheel drive, Mazda puts the 3 in a class of one

Since its introduction in 2003, Mazda’s compact Mazda3 has been a mainstay of the brand’s driver-oriented strategy. Mazda now plans to move upmarket, and the all-new 2019 Mazda3 offers some clues about how that’s going to work.
Product Review

2019 Volkswagen Jetta offers German refinement and tech at an affordable price

With enough tech to make villains jealous, the Volkswagen Jetta punches above its class as a forward-thinking sedan. Spacious, comfortable, and efficient, the Jetta is a refined offering. German refinement comes with a serious attitude.

FWD vs. RWD vs. AWD: How the wheels that turn change the way you drive

Let's face it, you've likely heard front-, rear-, and all-wheel drive mentioned before in some context or another. But what do these terms mean, especially in terms of performance? We’ve got the answers.

Fiat wants to transform the cheeky 500 city car into an urban Tesla

Fiat is finally preparing a new 500. Scheduled to make its debut in early 2020, the retro-chic city car will go electric in part to comply with looming emissions regulations.

The 2020 Porsche Cayenne Coupe is an exercise in form-over-function design

Porsche expanded its lineup of SUVs with a swoopier evolution of the Cayenne named Cayenne Coupe. Don't let the name fool you: it still has four doors. It stands out with a fastback-like roofline that's lower than the Cayenne's.
Product Review

Chris is the virtual co-pilot phone-obsessives need in their car

Driving while using your phone is dangerous, and often illegal. Meet Chris, the digital assistant for your car that wants to help keep your hands off your phone, and your eyes on the road.

Formula 1 is putting data in the driver’s seat, and not all racers are happy

After a single weekend of racing, a Formula 1 pit crew typically pulls around 2TB of data from the car. Everything, from tire pressure to the temperature of the track, is recorded and analyzed in the name of boosting performance -- and not…

Protect yourself and your ride with our favorite dash cams

Dashboard cameras can assist drivers in car accident claims, settle speeding ticket disputes, and even catch glimpses of incoming meteors, among other things. Here, we've compiled a list of the most noteworthy offerings available.

Tesla revives its referral program with chances to win a Roadster

Tesla has revived its referral program that ended in February because of cost pressures. This time around the perks aren't quite as diverse, though it does offer regular chances to win a Roadster or Model Y.

Tesla ends scheduled servicing because electric cars need less maintenance

Tesla will longer offer scheduled maintenance plans, switching to an "as needed" model. This reflects the fact that electric cars need less regular maintenance than gasoline or diesel cars.

The go kart-like Mini Cooper will soon add zero emissions to its resume

Mini is in the final stages of developing an electric version of the Cooper. The 2020 Cooper SE will receive powertrain components from the BMW i3, including a 181-horsepower electric motor and battery technology.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Robotic companions and computer-aided karaoke

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it's fun to gawk!

Tesla Model 3 vulnerability exposed at Pwn2Own; hackers take home the car

A Tesla Model 3 vulnerability was exposed at the Pwn2Own hacking competition. The hackers, who were able to display a message on the electric vehicle's internet browser, won $35,000 and took home the car.

Is this electric car startup the next Tesla, or will it go the way of Coda?

The electric car startup formerly known as EVelozcity has changed its name to Canoo. It also announced a lineup of four cars including a commuter-friendly model and a lifestyle-oriented car. Its first electric vehicles will begin to appear…