Providing an early look at the kind of design cues and technology its maker plans to incorporate into future compact SUV offerings, the Volkswagen T-ROC Concept makes its world debut in Geneva. Seen here in a teaser sketch, the T-ROC is based on the same flexible MQB modular architecture that underpins the latest Golf. Combining avant-garde styling with impressive on/off-road capability, the T-ROC also introduces a new interactive all-digital operating environment and complements its efficient turbodiesel engine, and tri-mode (Street/Offroad/Snow) operating system with a sophisticated all-wheel-drive setup.
Finished in Blue-Splash Metallic with a high-gloss black roof and Cool Granite accents, the T-ROC is roughly the same size as the Golf, but with a slightly longer wheelbase as well as wider track dimensions. A more coupe-like profile and shorter, skidpad-protected overhangs endow VW's diminutive would-be trailblazer with a purposeful stance. The look is enhanced by its bold 3D front and rear fascia treatments, two-piece removable hard top and prominent fender arches filled with custom 19-inch multi-part alloy wheels wrapped in go-anywhere 245/45 tires.
The T-ROC's full LED exterior lighting adds its own touch. Beyond basic illumination, the dual front primary lamps that frame the grille are augmented by a large, round low-mount unit that takes things one step beyond. In addition to having a central fixed three-LED foglamp, it houses a "steerable" LED that works in tandem with a swiveling camera to provide the driver with advance warning about potential hazards ahead when the T-ROC is operating in Offroad mode. Circular rear units beneath the taillamps feature a similar tri-level configuration that stacks the rear fog and backup lights along with a second camera.
With room for four, the T-ROC features an active-lifestyle interior that's matched with a Blue-Splash Metallic and Anthracite with a touch of bright green accent trim. The digital dash features a 12.3-inch fully reconfigurable main instrument display that changes its look and data set to accommodate each driving mode. It's joined by a trick climate controls that lets passengers custom tailor temperature settings for different areas of the body. The centerpiece is a multi-touch tablet that clips securely into a holder. It controls all of the T-ROC's infotainment functions and presents images from the front/rear cameras - as well as from a third HD unit located in the inside rearview mirror bracket.
The T-ROC is powered by the same 2.0-liter/4-cylinder TDI engine used in the Golf GTD. It cranks out 184 horsepower, 280 lb-ft of torque and is backed by a 7-speed version of VW's DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. Power is delivered to each wheel via the latest version of the automaker's 4Motion AWD system, and Volkswagen says this 3,131-pound crossover can hustle from 0-62 mph in 6.9 seconds and still deliver an impressive 48 mpg.
No word yet on just when we'll see VW's new small SUV or how much of the T-Roc's trick tech ever makes it to the showroom. All we know for certain at this point is that the production vehicle it spawns will continue the automaker's current convention of having its name start with the letter T, ala the Taigun, Tiguan and Touareg.
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