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Volkswagen T-Roc R spied

Lee Stern
17 May 2018

Junior SUV looks set to gain 306bhp derivative

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Our spy photographers have captured images of a hotter VW T-Roc undergoing testing. Sporting a series of Volkswagen R-inspired touches that mark it out from the standard model, many expect it will be labelled the T-Roc R, indicating its powertrain will be borrowed from the Golf R.

VW’s R-based makeover for the T-Roc is typically restrained. There’s a subtly redesigned front apron and a bigger grille, supported below by a silver-chrome skid plate. More exterior brightwork lends the T-Roc R further distinction from lesser models, with chrome strips stretching down the flanks – just above the sills – and being repeated on the rear bumper corners.

> VW Golf R review

There’s also a slim silver panel, sitting at the rear valance’s bottom edge, which highlights the quartet of tailpipes below it. It’s this exhaust arrangement, akin to the Golf R’s, that leads us to believe the SUV is running a powertrain derived from VW’s flagship hot hatch.

Should that be the case, the T-Roc R would get VW’s sturdy, EA888 turbocharged 2-litre four-cylinder engine in its highest state of tune, delivering 306bhp to all four wheels via a six-speed manual or a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox – although the former would likely be omitted for this installation.

Transplanting the Golf R’s oily bits into a T-Roc wouldn't take much: the T-Roc and Golf are built on the same platform, so mixing and matching parts requires little-to-no bespoke engineering – in VW manufacturing terms it’s akin to plug and play.

> VW Golf GTI TCR – a Clubsport successor?

While Volkswagen is yet to officially sanction the T-Roc R, you’d be silly to bet against it coming to fruition. VW bosses recently admitted to evo that the marque’s R brand, currently exclusive to the Golf, would diversify and cover a wider range of models – the T-Roc R seems to be the first.

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