GTI Badge Will Not Make it to the T-Roc, but R Badge Might

Volkswagen does not see the T-Roc as a suitable GTI, but rather an R...

Image credit: VW Vortex
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Volkswagen is looking to make a performance variant of its new small SUV, but according to a report from Autocar, the automaker says no to the GTI badge and looks more to the R.

“Yes, of course I could imagine more powerful engines and it has been prepared for the eventuality, ” said Frank Welsch, VW’s head of product development, to 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, ” he added.

The T-Roc is about the same size as a Golf, it shares the MQB platform with it too. It is set to compete with the likes of Audi’s Q2 and the SEAT Ateca in Europe. And to attract younger buyers, Volkswagen is looking to give the small SUV a peppy character.

The Golf R’s 310bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre engine would definitely do the job, fitting it under the hood of the T-Roc shouldn’t be lost such a tough job as well, but the project as a whole 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.”

If there is an actual demand for a performance T-Roc. VW might need a bit of help from Audi’s engineers to ensure that the high ride pushed by 231kW does not become a problem around corners.

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