Meet the T-ROC, the latest Volkswagen SUV concept, which is set to debut at the 2014 Geneva motor show. The T-ROC offers a glimpse at future Volkswagen SUVs: it is smaller than the Tiguan, but larger than the Taigun SUV concept, which is in the development phase.
The T-ROC’s name is derived from ‘T’ as a reference to the names of current and future Volkswagen SUVs such as the Taigun, Tiguan and Touareg, and ‘ROC’ meaning the all-wheel-drive car is as at home on off-road trails as it is on tarmac.
The two-door, four-seat concept combines the adventure seeking qualities of an SUV with the airiness of a convertible, thanks to its roof design. The middle section of the roof – made from a carbon composite – can be removed in two halves, each of which can then be stored in the trunk.
Measuring 4179mm long and 1831mm wide, the T-ROC concept is roughly 200mm shorter than a Tiguan and around 300mm longer than the Taigun concept. At 1501mm tall it sits around 200mm lower than a Tiguan and rides on a 2595mm-long wheelbase. Like the latest Golf, the T-ROC is based on the modular transverse matrix (MQB) platform, and thanks to its lightweight design, it weighs just 1420kg.
The team at Volkswagen Design, led by Klaus Bischoff, have advanced the brand’s ‘SUV DNA’ in the T-ROC, while also preserving its history. At the front, a three-dimensional radiator grille with a large honeycomb-shaped opening, LED headlights, daytime running lights and indicators and prominent round headlamp modules hark back to the Karmann Ghia Type 34. Three-dimensional LED lights also adorn the rear end.
Both at the front and the back, the T-ROC makes use of integrated cameras which project images when driving off-road into the cabin via a tablet mounted in the center console. This allows the driver to see potholes or large stones which could damage the car – or certainly hinder progress.
Three driving modes – ‘street’, ‘offroad’ and ‘snow’ – are selectable at the turn of a wheel on the DSG gear-shift grip. Parameters of the running gear, engine-gearbox unit and hill start and hill descent assist systems are modified depending on the mode selected. The active mode is shown in a pop-up window in the fully digital instrument cluster.
In addition to the digital cluster, the T-ROC also features a 12.3-inch tablet in the center stack, with the upper two-thirds of the display extending out from the IP. The multi-touch display (which reacts to finger gestures) is user-configurable, and the range of colors used and information displayed on the tablet change according to the driving mode selected.
The T-ROC sources power from a 181hp turbodiesel engine connected via a newly developed seven-speed DSG gearbox to a 4MOTION all-wheel-drive system.