• The souped-up T-Roc R brings 296 horsepower, all-wheel drive, and a 4.9-second 0-62-mph time to the performance compact crossover market.
  • The T-Roc and variants won't be sold in America, where a hot crossover could actually sell remarkably well, ironically.
  • The T-Roc R debuts before the standard T-Roc subcompact crossover in Geneva in March.

troc r rear 34

The crossover that sits before you is the T-Roc R, the performance version of the not-for-America Golf-based T-Roc subcompact crossover. You could call it a hot crossover, instead of a hot hatch, but that doesn't quite roll off the torque. But that's okay, since VW's not bringing it here. Don't ask us why. Just don't.

The R division created a faster, better-performing version just in time for it to debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Under the hood is a powerful 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine good for 296 horsepower and  295 lb-ft of torque... directly from the Golf R hot hatch. The mated transmission is a 7-speed dual clutch automatic that drives all four wheels. VW pulled the suspension and the brakes from the R, as well, so there's some serious sharing between sibs. 

troc r profile

The T-Roc R is definitely more powerful than the stock T-Roc by 110 horses and 59 lb-ft, giving it the ability to launch to 60 mph from a standstill in under 5 seconds. That's pretty quick, considering that the Porsche Macan will do it in 5.1 seconds (and it has 44 more horses). The T-Roc R's top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph. It should manage the Autobahn just fine. 

troc r rear

For enhanced handling, the crossover gets lowered 20mm, and there are adaptive dampers, as well as VW's optional DCC adaptive damping for even better cornering. The T-Roc R has also been additionally tweaked thanks to assistance from World Rally Championship driver Petter Solberg and VW works racer Benjamin Leuchter. 

troc r rear

In terms of additional changes, the T-Roc R gets upgraded front and rear facias, larger air intakes in front, matte-chrome side mirrors, a big diffuser and quad pipes in back, available 19" black wheels. and black brake calipers. You can also get your T-Roc R painted with a contrasting black roof for a more menacing look.

troc r interior

Inside, there are special touches that include R badging that matches the exterior, contrast seat stitching, ambient lighting throughout, and special stainless steel pedals. The cabin also gets model-specific R seats with grippy inserts and Alcantara suede. Instrumentation allows for navigation and other vital infotainment functions viewable through the center gauges just like Audi's. The interior also has all the R logos, cross-stitching, ambient lighting and stainless steel pedals you'd expect from the brand.

troc r seats

The T-Roc and T-Roc R are great new additions to the brand's lineup, but we just can't wrap our heads around why they won't bring it here. The Tiguan has now grown into a three-row, so it would only make sense for VW to bring the T-Roc to our shores where it would sell quite well. The brand says they will have a near-production version of the T-Roc R in Geneva, and it will go on sale later this year. Just not here. 

troc r driving