Wolfsburg - Volkswagen is expanding its SUV family with this all-new contender called the T-Roc, which was revealed to the world on Wednesday night. VWSA tells us that the T-Roc is destined for South Africa, although the timing has yet to be confirmed.

The new crossover slots beneath the Tiguan in VW’s SUV hierarchy and in size terms it’s 252mm shorter in length than its bigger brother.

Like the Golf and most modern VWs, the T-Roc is built around the company’s MQB modular platform and the newcomer is believed to be quite closely related to the Audi Q2, with which it shares a 2.6-metre wheelbase.

Expect the T-Roc to go up against Toyota’s C-HR and although the German is nowhere near as radical looking, a factor that could actually work in its favour, the VW does let its hair down to some degree with its bulgy wheel arches, sloping roofline and two-tone paintwork.

It should also prove more practical than its Japanese rival, with VW claiming a pretty generous boot capacity of 445 litres.

As is the norm in this segment these days, more than half of the derivatives will be front-wheel-driven, but VW’s 4Motion all-wheel-drive system is available with the bigger engines.

The local line-up has yet to be confirmed, but for the record, European customers will have six engine options.

Petrol units include an 85kW/200Nm 1-litre TSI, 110kW/250Nm 1.5 TSI and 140kW/320Nm 2.0 TSI. Diesel buyers will have the choice of an 85kW/250Nm 1.6 TDI or a 2.0 TDI with either 110kW/340Nm or 140kW/400Nm. Six-speed manual and seven-speed DSG gearboxes will be offered, with their availability depending on the engine selected.

Like the latest Golf and Polo, the T-Roc's cabin is highly ‘digitised’. 

The Active Info Display (digital instrument cluster) can be ordered as an option, along with a range of infotainment systems, although even the base model receives a Composition Colour touch-screen as standard, along with gizmos such as City Emergency Braking, Pedestrian Monitoring and Lane Assist.

Owners will also be able to access a wide range of online services and apps via smartphone and VW Car-Net.

IOL Motoring