A high-riding GTI has been ruled out, however.Volkswagen is open to the idea of building a high-performance crossover, one of the company's top officials has revealed.
The rumors of a Tiguan R haven't materialized yet, but the Wolfsburg-based company hasn't ruled out putting a R emblem on a high-riding model in the near future. The upcoming T-Roc -- which will be roughly the same size as a Golf -- could get the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder currently found under the hood of the Golf R.
"Our first job is to launch the standard car and see the reaction to it. If demand is there for a more powerful car, we can likely satisfy it. There is a great deal of potential in the car that we can unlock if customers want it," said Frank Welsch, the head of Volkswagen's development department, in an interview with British magazine Autocar.
If it's approved for production, the 300-horsepower R-badged model will receive Volkswagen's 4Motion four-wheel drive system. It probably won't get the Golf R's six-speed manual transmission, so the only gearbox offered will be a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic with shift paddles.
It's too early to provide performance specifications. All we know at this point is that the T-Roc R will be a little bit slower than the Golf R because it will be heavier. Volkswagen's hottest production hatchback hits 60 mph from a stop in 4.9 seconds.
Welsch all but ruled out building a GTI-badged variant of the T-Roc. "A SUV isn't a fitting car for that badge," he explained.
The standard version of the Volkswagen T-Roc -- a name that might not make it to production -- is tentatively scheduled to debut this fall at the Frankfurt Auto Show. It will arrive in showrooms nationwide in time for the 2019 model year.
Photo by Ronan Glon.