Volkswagen will launch its small T-Cross SUV through the second half of 2018 as one of 19 new SUV models due from the brand. This is probable to certify that SUVs represent 40 % of the company’s sales. The SUV is expected to keep the T-Cross name for production, being the same size as the T-Cross Breeze concept revealed at last year’s Geneva motor show. The T-Roc kept its concept precursor’s name, so the T-Cross is expected to as well. The production version is likely to wear a full-width grille, side window graphics and wider wheel arches to give Volkswagen’s new compact SUV a more distinctive, rugged image; similar to the T-Roc. The model that was spied testing at the Nürburgring had 20-inch R-Line alloys; unusual for a car of this class, but suggesting that the model will follow the spec structure of the larger Tiguan, with sporty R-Line models at the top of the range.
What’s not known is whether the model will get an R variant, as per the upcoming T-Roc R, but the two do share styling cues. The small SUV will be underpinned by the new VW Polo’s MQB A0 platform and is likely to share parts and engines with the hatchback. An entry-level model will use the turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with 112hp and 175Nm, the same engine that was used on the T-Cross concept. It was mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox that drives the front wheels. Larger four-cylinder turbocharged units are also expected with the production-spec model. The concept was claimed to be capable of reaching 100kph in 10.3 seconds and hit a top speed of 187kph, while offering 20.04kpl. Similar, economy-focused performance can be expected from the production car’s powertrain line-up, although a hotter, Polo GTI-style range-topper could contrast that. In standard form, the SUV will be front-wheel drive, but all-wheel-drive versions will almost certainly be offered as well. The T-Cross is expected to rival the Audi Q2 when launched in 2018, though a full reveal is expected during the second half of next year. The T-Cross will be one of 19 new SUVs coming from Volkswagen before 2020. Some SUV models are for specific markets only. VW has recently launched the Tiguan in India that is positioned about the T-Cross and T-Roc.