Bastardized or Made More Relevant? The T Roc R Launches to 60 in 4.9 Seconds in Geneva

It was a momentous day for the R brand in Geneva today, as Volkswagen unveiled its first non-Golf R: the T Roc R.

With a Golf R-rivaling 300 hp and 295 ft-lb of torque, not to mention a 7-speed DSG gearbox and 4Motion AWD system, the T Rocker can get to 62 mph in a pretty respectable 4.9 seconds.

That’s good enough to get you to speed faster than a Masarati Levante S or an Audi SQ5. It also makes it very nearly identical to the Golf R off the line and nearly 2 seconds faster to 60 than the Nissan Juke NISMO RS (which is older, but is also the only reasonably similar performance SUV, market-wise).

Volkswagen also lowered and tuned the suspension to ensure that it impresses through the corners, too. It also wears big, 17-inch brakes to get it stopped in as much of a hurry as it starts. 

The T Rocker also comes with the requisite driving modes, to remind you that you paid for the performance model. Volkswagen says that in race mode the car is set up for launches (to make sure it hits 60 in 4.9 seconds in independent testing, presumably), but will also relax the traction management systems’ grip on the fun.

The wheels are 19-inch Pretoria shod in 235/40 R19 Hankook tires. It also comes with a range of R badges all over the body and interior, as you’d expect. It also comes with quad-tipped Akrapovic exhausts. 

Although this is just a “near-production concept car,” Volkswagen was previously caught testing a pre-production version at the Nurburgring, so the T Rocker should be pretty handy around a bend, despite its extra height.

The question remains, though, whether or not enthusiasts will embrace the car. The T Roc may not be available in the US, but the market’s obsession with crossovers, the MQB’s adaptability, and the R brand’s caché make a similar product *coughtiguanrcough* a likelihood, though not a guarantee, in the US.

Presumably, whether or not such a product arrives in the US will depend on the T Roc R’s success in Europe, but Cupra’s latest creation–the unfortunately named Fermentor–is a roughly US Tiguan-sized hybrid performance concept. So this feels more like a vision of things to come than a one-off experiment.

Fortunately, Volkswagen has said that it would not add the GTI moniker to its crossovers in the past. That legendary brand, they said, applies more to small hatchbacks.

So can you live in a world where the Rs go on the big SUVs and crossovers, and the GTIs exist on the smaller stuff? Is this enough performance to convince you that a T Roc R is worthy of its name?