Volkswagen teases a cutesy new crossover that’s ready to T-Roc

As Volkswagen looks to put Dieselgate in its rearview mirror, the German automaker is doubling down on two critical market segments: electric vehicles and crossovers.

To address the EV component, VW has increased its e-Golf’s range considerably and is experimenting with an all-new architecture to underpin several electrified models in the coming years (previewed by the I.D. Buzz Concept in Detroit).

Alternative energy model planning will be important for future sales growth, but CUVs and SUVs are needed to keep VW afloat until then. For this reason, Volkswagen has introduced a new midsize model, the Atlas, and has updated its Tiguan. To round out its new crossover lineup, the automaker is planning to launch a subcompact based on the European market Audi Q2.

Our first look at this Golf-based model came in 2014 when VW introduced the T-Roc Concept. Our latest look is at a camouflaged version of the production car. In this brief, low-budget teaser, VW shows a four-door, fixed-roof model tearing through the desert. Apart from the car’s overall shape, we’re still in the dark about details — including whether the Jeep Renegade-esque removable roof panels will make it to production.

Like the Q2, the production T-Roc will be based on VW’s MQB scaleable platform. Power could come from a 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder to the tune of 170 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. That much grunt in a pint-sized body should make for some lively performance. A dual-clutch transmission will send power to the front wheels, but buyers can opt for VW’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system for an additional fee.

Europeans can expect to see the T-Roc at dealers by the end of this year (meaning the T-Roc will debut very soon — perhaps at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September), but U.S. buyers will have to wait until 2019 to get behind the wheel.