Volkswagen T-Roc R – 300 PS, 400 Nm, 4.9 seconds

As teased, here’s the Volkswagen T-Roc R that will make its motor show debut in Geneva next month. It’s being officially billed as a “near-production concept car” but we can disregard that – this is as good as the finalised hot version of VW’s MQB-based compact crossover that first surfaced in 2017.

Volkswagen R’s latest model is powered by a 2.0 litre TSI engine with 300 PS and 400 Nm of torque, which is the same power rating as the post-WLTP-rated Golf R. Paired to a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic and 4Motion all-wheel drive, the T-Roc R is good for 0 to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds, with top speed electronically limited to 250 km/h.

Of course, there are chassis upgrades to come with the much-increased power. The T-Roc R comes standard with sports running gear (lowered suspension), progressive steering and a 17-inch brake system – the latter was previously only found in the Volkswagen Golf R Performance.

Volkswagen T-Roc R – 300 PS, 400 Nm, 4.9 seconds

The driving modes include a race mode, and there’s also a launch control feature that provides optimal traction during standing start acceleration. The ESC can be manually switched off. VW says that this car was developed and tested at the Nurburgring, supported by the expertise of rally legend Petter Solberg and Volkswagen works driver Benjamin Leuchter.

Design wise, the R version of the T-Roc sports a redesigned radiator grille with a polished silver band of anodised aluminium on the underside that runs the entire width of the face. The aggressive bumper sports vertical LED daytime running lights. The prominent R logo on the grille is mirrored by a design strip which runs over the side panels and doors.

At the back, there’s a sporty bumper with “visual air outlets” and an R diffuser in a contrasting colour. Four exhaust pipes – two on each side – complete the rear visual cues. The T-Roc R rides on 18-inch “Spielberg” alloys as standard, with 19-inch “Pretoria” dark graphite matt alloys (235/40 tyres) as an option. Another option is a titanium exhaust system from Akrapovic.

Volkswagen T-Roc R – 300 PS, 400 Nm, 4.9 seconds

Other R-specific bits include matt chrome door mirror caps, a roof spoiler and skid plates in an accent colour, black embossed and slightly widened wheel arches, and black brake callipers with R logos. The signature colour is this Lapiz Blue Metallic, but there are seven other options. The roof can be painted black, if desired.

Inside, the hot Roc comes with stainless steel sill trim with the R logo, which is also found on the key fob, seat backrests and sports steering wheel. The latter comes with shift paddles and stitching in Crystal Grey. Of course, the headliner is in black and the pedals are in stainless steel. Shadow Steel R trim pieces round off the unique cabin bits. Interior options include nappa leather, side panels with carbon inserts and exclusive R interior paintwork.

Since the end of 2017, Wolfsburg has sold around 200,000 units of the T-Roc, a car that was rather late to the hot segment. VW claims that the model “combines the sovereignty of an SUV with the dynamics of a compact hatchback.” This or the Golf R?