After many years speculation about what the next full-fat R model was going to be, it’s here and it’s a….drum roll…..it’s an SUV?!
For years the chat has reigned supreme on this topic at VWROC.com. First it was all about the WRC winning Polo, and whether that would homologate into a proper VW R. No is the short answer. In subsequent interviews VW clarified that the ethos of the R brand is speed AND 4 wheel drive. The Polo just doesn’t have the capability (currently) to take onboard the Haldex system.
Then there was the Golf R400, or R420 depending on which tea leaf brand you were attempting to read the future with. That of course was hit by the VW Dieselgate scandal and pulled. Although again VW’s Jost Capitio recently elaborated that they just didn’t think they had the market for the R400, and as a result of their extensive research, of which this forum took a lead role (shame on those that responded), customers only wanted about 300BHP in the sub €50,000 (£42,000) bracket. He reckoned that by busting those figures, not only would the R400 be too costly to own and run, but that it would have meant losing half of their sales volume.
So, to the Geneva Motor show. We knew that the T-Roc R was a possibility. We’d seen the sketches and even seen images of it testing at the Nurburgring, but we’d also seen R400 mules, and they came to nothing. So I have to say we were all a little surprised and delighted when it was actually launched this week at the motor show.
I was sceptical at first about the whole concept, but after reading all the reviews and watching all the videos, my mind has been changed. I like this SUV. Apparently, according to Jost Capito, it drives better than the Golf R. They really have worked their magic on the chassis, handling and drive train and although it cannot overcome the sheer physics of its stance, it does perform really well. Only nine seconds slower than the Golf R hatch around the ring is not bad.
I feel that this plucky little sports SUV has the chutzpah to take on and beat BMW and Audi at their equivalent attempts. This could well be the class leader, just like your very own Golf R’s when stuck up against the Audi S3. Time will tell.
Order books are likely to open soon, and it could be arriving on our shores in the late autumn.
I won’t go into all the detail here, we’ve created a section full of news, videos and reviews by other more professional journalists, so please enjoy and carry on the debate here.
We’ve also added an Official Order Thread…I wonder which VWROC member will be the first to add their details….