Volkswagen Shows Off its First Non-Golf R Ahead of Geneva Reveal

We’ve long suspected that VW would apply the R badge to something new, and the brand has finally revealed what the first R that’s not a Golf will be: the T-Roc R.

Despite revealing that the Europe-only small SUV will be getting the R treatment, it hasn’t actually revealed the car. So far we only have design drawings and Volkswagen’s word that it’ll have “impressive performance data.”

VW revealed the T-Roc in 2017 and, again according to their own press release, it “combines the sovereignty of an SUV with the dynamics of a compact hatchback.”

That may go some way to explaining why VW chose the T-Roc as the first expansion of the R badge. With all the saleability of a crossover and the size of a hatchback (albeit a raised one), the T-Roc R can claim to be a hot-hatch by another name, a little like the BMW X2.

While we don’t know what kind of numbers the T-Rocker will chuck out, the T-Roc currently tops out at 190 hp. The T-Roc is based on the MQB platform, like the Golf, so it should have access to the same 2.0-liter engine as the Golf R.

And with that, it should also get some suspension bits to make everything stick to the ground a little better, since VW admits (and spy shots confirm) that the T-Rocker was tested at the Nurburgring with Benny Leuchter (who set Clubsport S’s blistering lap time) and Petter Solberg (who drives VW’s rallycross cars and has World Rally Championship on his mantle) at the wheel.

The T-Roc R is set to debut on March 7 at the Geneva Motor Show.