Crossovers

The 296-hp VW T-Roc R elevates the hot hatch in Geneva, literally

The future may be crossovers, but that doesn't guarantee the future will also be vanilla.

Volkswagen

Just because we'll never get the compact Volkswagen T-Roc crossover in the US doesn't mean we can't get excited about it. And at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, a new top trim has us even more smitten than before.

Volkswagen this week unveiled the T-Roc R ahead of its official debut in Geneva. When it reaches production, it'll be the top trim of VW's diminutive crossover, slotting beneath the Tiguan in markets outside the US. Just like the Golf R, the T-Roc R is all about fun, and it's more than just an aesthetic adjustment.

It's like a Golf R, but taller. 

Volkswagen

Of course, looks do factor into VW's R cars, and the T-Roc R is no exception. There's a new grille up front, along with a new bumper specific to the R model. The rear bumper is equally aggressive, with a diffuser and air outlets. Jutting out from that back bumper is a shiny new exhaust system with four tailpipes -- another R-car staple. 18-inch alloys are standard, but 19s are available, too.

Inside, things should look familiar to anybody who's been in a new VW in the last couple years. The shifter, mode knob, climate controls and infotainment system are all present in other VW vehicles such as the Golf, and not much changes here between R and non-R models. That said, the R logo pops up on the steering wheel, and there's a special infotainment startup screen for the R too.

Under its hood is a 2.0-liter I4 gas engine. It's tuned to create 296 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. That mates to a seven-speed, dual-clutch transmission and standard all-wheel drive. This combo is enough to shove the T-Roc R to 62 miles per hour in just 4.9 seconds. Given enough pavement, it'll hit 155 mph. It should stop on a dime, thanks to some monstrous 17-inch brakes. Launch control and a special Race mode come along for the ride, too.

The Geneva Motor Show's press days kick off next week, so keep your eyes peeled to Roadshow for on-the-ground coverage of everything worth talking about at the show.