THE COMPACT SUV market just got a lot more exciting with the unveiling of this, the VW T-Roc concept.
Once upon a time it might have stayed just that; a flash of inspiration destined to remain on a back-office drawing board. However, the success of the Nissan Juke, the latest version of which is also being revealed at Geneva, and the new Renault Captur, make the T-Roc a certainty for production, in slightly less extreme form, in around 2017.
The “T” in its name conforms with current and future VW SUVs, while “Roc” is a reference to the little SUV’s go-anywhere ability. VW describes the all-wheel-drive car as being equally at home on rocky trails as on tarmac. Just so it doesn’t come to grief, it has cameras allowing the driver to see potholes or large stones that could damage it.
The new concept is based on VW’s ubiquitous MQB platform. Its styling is in part influenced by VWs of old, including the Karmann Ghia Type 34 whose round headlights it shares. It has a removable roof constructed in two sections for easy storage in the boot.
Power is provided by the 180bhp diesel engine from the current Golf GTD. It is enough to launch the car from 0-62mph in 6.9sec. A seven-speed DSG gearbox offers three driving modes: Street, Offroad and Snow.