VW Says No to T-Roc GTI, But Maybe to T-Roc R

Volkswagen is interested in giving its new tiny SUV a performance variant, but the sacrosanct “GTI” badge won’t find its way to the T-Roc’s back end, according to a report from Autocar.

“Yes, of course I could imagine more powerful engines and it has been prepared for the eventuality,” Frank Welsch, VW’s head of product development told Autocar. “I wouldn’t call it a GTI — an SUV isn’t a fitting car for that badge, perhaps — but I could imagine it as an R.”

The T-Roc is VW’s latest small SUV. Roughly the same size as a Golf, the T-Roc will compete with the likes of the Audi Q2 and the SEAT Ateca in Europe.

The automaker is intent on giving the car a peppy character to attract young people. With the Golf R’s 310 hp 2.0-liter engine, it would be an attractive little SUV, indeed. Volkswagen might have to borrow Audi’s engineers, though, to ensure that the high-riding T-Roc can round corners stably with all that power.

Although it would be simple enough to fit the engine under the T-Roc’s hood—it shares its MQB platform with the Golf R, after all—actually doing so isn’t so simple.

“Our first job is to launch the standard car and see the reaction to it,” Welsch told Autocar. “If demand is there for a more powerful car, we can likely satisfy it. There is a great deal of potential in the car that we can unlock if customers want it.”

[source: Autocar]