Wolfsburg - While the market is becoming flooded with compact crossovers, performance variants of the more affordable variety are still a relatively rare breed, and so Volkswagen is hoping to carve up a little niche for itself with the T-Roc R, which has just been revealed ahead of its in-the-flesh debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.

Local VeeDub fans will have to stick to its Golf R cousin, however, as none of the T-Roc models are due for release in South Africa, VWSA has confirmed.

So what are we missing out on?

You can think of this T-Roc as a Golf R on stilts, with a more muscular body style. It’s almost as powerful as the hatch, with 221kW on command versus the Golf’s 228kW tally, but it has the same maximum torque output of 400Nm, and against the clock it’s just 0.3 seconds slower from 0-100km/h, according to official claims, with the T-Roc doing the straight line dance in 4.9 seconds. The top speed, as you would expect is electronically limited to 250km/h.

The 2-litre turbopetrol engine is mated to a seven-speed DSG automated gearbox and 4Motion all-wheel drive, and the R also gets lowered suspension and 18-inch alloys, while buyers can opt for a set of 19-inch alloy wheels that South Africans can be proud of, even though they can’t even buy a T-Roc R - yes, they’re called ‘Pretoria Dark Graphite’ alloy wheels.

Drivers will be able to choose from various driving modes, including a special ‘Race’ mode that’s unique to this version of the T-Roc, and launch control is also part of the deal here.

The T-Roc R’s body kit is not exactly loud and proud, but the variant does gain unique grille and bumper designs and double exhaust pipes, while the cabin gets stainless steel sill panels and pedals, R embroidered seats and black headlining.

IOL Motoring