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The VW T-Roc R might make the Golf GTI feel insecure
Fancy a bigger, heavier, near-300bhp VW hot hatch? Here y’go
The VW Group doesn’t tend to keep a profit-swelling idea exclusive. Take the brainwave of small-ish, quick SUVs, kickstarted with the likes of the Audi RS Q3. Within a matter of months we’ve had the not-a-Seat Cupra Ateca, Audi SQ2, the Skoda Kodiaq vRS, and now there’s this – a VW hot hatch that’s very much not a Golf R. Because it’s a T-Roc R. Grrr…
The T-Roc is a Golf-sized crossover than basically replaces the old Scirocco coupe, and much as we lament its crossover sameyness, it’s been a cash-cow for Volkswagen. Over 200,000 have been sold since it hit showrooms in November 2017. What’s German for ker-ching?
The T-Roc R nabs all of its mechanical bits’n’bobs from the soon-to-die VW Golf R. So, you’re tugged along by on a 2.0-litre turbocharged engine dishing out 296bhp, a seven-speed DSG gearbox, part-time four-wheel drive, and followed by a family of four exhaust pipes. You can spec a lighter, louder Akrapovic system if you want to make loads of neighbours angry with you.
Off the line, you dial in launch control, lift off the beefier brakes and arrive at 62mph in just 4.9 seconds. The top speed’s limited to 155mph.
The handling’s been developed on cobbled streets, desert dunes and an ice rink. Only joking – it’s had a shakedown lap (or fifty) at the Nürburgring.
VW says, with some fanfare, the T-Roc R is “a stylish all-rounder that combines the sovereignty of an SUV with the dynamics of a compact hatchback”. And if that’s not niche enough for you, stay tuned later in the year for a T-Roc Cabriolet. Obviously. These are the crazy times in which we live.
In the meantine: one question. T-Roc R, or a trad hot hatch, like a Golf R?