New model brings the punch of a hot hatch favourite for a more affordable price, helping build a brand new class of car.
Volkswagen has locked in local prices for the upcoming T-Roc R, a new machine that blends the body of a compact crossover with the running gear of an all-wheel-drive hot hatch.
The new VW T-Roc R will cost $59,300 plus on-road costs in Australia – about $65,000 drive-away.
It undercuts the latest Golf R by $6690 and the bigger Tiguan R by $9690 to become the entry point to Volkswagen’s R-branded performance range.
But the VW is significantly more expensive than the likes of Hyundai’s front-wheel-drive Kona N ($47,500 plus on-road costs), and is within touching distance of the mechanically similar Audi SQ2 ($64,400 plus on-roads) – models that helped establish the compact performance SUV class.
Powered by a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine with 221kW/400Nm maximum outputs, the T-Roc R uses all-wheel-drive and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission to race to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds.
It gets 19-inch wheels, adaptive suspension, bigger brakes, sports seats and a flat-bottomed steering wheel with oversized shift paddles.
Key tech includes a digital dash, 9.2-inch central touchscreen and a long list of safety features including traffic jam assistance, active cruise control, self-parking and matrix LED headlights.
But the T-Roc misses out on features that help the new Golf R justify a near-$10,000 increase over the previous model.
The latest Golf R’s torque-vectoring rear differential, huge sports seats and larger touchscreen are missing in action, as is a more powerful 235kW/400Nm version of the same engine.
The new machine arrives in August, after the new Golf R and Tiguan R go on sale, but before a hot R-badged version of the full-sized Touareg luxury SUV debuts at the end of the year.
Originally published as Volkswagen undercuts fast Golf with new T-Roc R