In recent years, Volkswagen has been aggressive in meeting the market demands of American buyers, attempting to satisfy the hunger of both mainstream consumers and niche-oriented enthusiasts (see: Jetta Sportwagen TDI w/manual). Whilst most people interested in buying a vehicle will find an expansive selection of automobiles when entering a VW dealership, there is one bandwagen the company has yet to jump on: a truly American-market CUV.
Attempts at reaching the segment have been limited to the aging Tiguan and the upscale Touareg, neither of which have produced desirable sales number for the VW Group. Thankfully, Volkswagen has set it sights on remedying such an issue via its latest soft-roading machine—the T-ROC.
It should come as no surprise that this sleek and rakish T-ROC is underpinned by the VW Group’s remarkable MQB platform, a modular platform capable of being configured as a micro-city car or a 3-row SUV and everything in between. With such a layout, complexity and cost are dropped dramatically, slotting this crossover slightly beneath Volkswagen’s current Tiguan model.
Yes, production potential is very high.
Staying true to its impressive multi-platform capabilities, the T-ROC concept is able to squeeze a number of engines into its engine bay, from the ubiquitous 2.0T to the renown TDI Diesel and even hybrid power. Debuting as the base engine is a rather Euro-friendly 2.0 turbo-Diesel four producing 182 hp and an impressive 280 lb. ft. of torque, routed to the front wheels by a 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
In classic concept car fashion, the removable roof panels, massive alloy wheels, and other cues likely won’t make production. Regardless, this German sports utility is planning on capturing vital sales from the American market to aid VW in reaching its ambitious 800,000-unit annual sales goal by 2018. No production plans have been spoken of yet for the 3-door concept but, if viewed as a potential entrant into VW’s bare crossover line-up, one could see a toned-down 5-door version sometime in the next 2-3 years.