The Volkswagen T-Cross will be revealed during the second half of 2018 as one of 19 new SUV models from the brand – a schedule that should see SUVs represent 40% of Volkswagen’s sales.
Inspired by the topless T-Cross Breeze concept that was revealed at last year’s Geneva motor show, the new SUV – a smaller brother to the recently launched T-Roc – will rival the Seat Arona, its technically similar group stablemate, as well as the Nissan Juke.
It’s expected to go on sale during the first half of 2019, with an expected price of above £17,000 – placing it comfortably between the Seat Arona and larger T-Roc SUV.
The production version is likely to wear a full-width grille, side window graphics, and wider wheel arches to give the compact SUV a more distinctive, rugged image similar to the T-Roc and even larger Tiguan.
It will be based on the Volkswagen Group’s new MQB A0 underpinnings, which form the base for the other compact SUVs such as the Seat Arona and hatchbacks including the new Polo. Technical links with the Polo mean the T-Cross is likely to inherit several of that car’s engines.
A Volkswagen UK spokesman previously revealed to Autocar that growing the SUV line-up was key to securing funding for the brand’s investment in electrification. In spite of this, electrification is unlikely to spread down to the T-Roc’s class just yet, with the first mild hybrid Golf not reaching roads until 2019, and no plug-in Polo GTE in the pipeline.
The T-Cross Breeze concept offers an insight into what to expect. That car used a turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, with 110bhp and 129lb ft powering the front wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. It’s thought that this entry-level unit will be joined by two turbocharged four-cylinder engines in the production car.
The concept was claimed to be capable of reaching 62mph in 10.3sec and a top speed of 117mph while offering 56.5mpg and CO2 emissions of 115g/km. A similarly economy-focused performance can be expected from the production car’s powertrain line-up. A hotter range-topper could counter that, but it’s not yet known if a red-blooded performance model will be launched.
Volkswagen is understood to be developing a T-Roc R with around 300bhp, but there’s no word as to whether the smaller T-Cross will get a hot variant. Although the hardware from the new Polo GTI would likely fit the T-Cross, Volkswagen has recently stated that the GTI moniker is reserved exclusively for its hot hatchbacks, ruling out the chances of a T-Cross GTI.
A previous sighting of a T-Cross development car was in Scandinavia during winter testing. Early last year, Volkswagen took a T-Cross R-Line to the Nürburgring wearing 20in wheels, showing that sporty design will be offered with higher trim levels.
The T-Cross and recently launched T-Roc join the Tiguan and new Touareg in Volkswagen’s fast-expanding SUV range. The T-Roc is also to get a hot, R-badged variant, as well as an unusual cabriolet version, due in 2019 and 2020 respectively. The T-Cross isn’t likely to get either of these variants, given the Polo doesn’t get a variant hotter than the GTI, and the poor shape of the convertible market.
In total, Volkswagen plans to launch 19 SUVs by 2020. The T-Roc was the first, but not all of its new siblings will reach Europe. The Atlas, for example, is focused on the North American and Chinese markets.