The production version's styling likely takes inspiration from the T-Cross Breeze concept.

Volkswagen remains absent from the popular compact crossover segment, but don’t expect the German automaker to ignore the trendy niche too much longer. As this Polo-based test mule shows, the company is getting serious about joining the fight against European vehicles like the Opel Mokka.

The automaker has toyed with the idea of a pint-sized crossover for years. The Taigun concept in 2012 hinted at a tiny CUV in the lineup, but VW eventually decided it was too small. Instead, look for a future production model to take design cues from 2016’s T-Cross Breeze concept but with an actual roof and an extra set of doors. If sales are right, VW could revisit the idea of a diminutive, droptop CUV, though.

Given how well the Polo body fits on top of this high-riding test mule, it’s safe to guess a production version would use Volkswagen Group’s MQB platform. The T-Cross Breeze concept has a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder with 110 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque, but expect a broader choice of powerplants when the model hits showrooms. All-wheel drive could even be on the options list.

When the T-Cross Breeze debuted in Geneva, VW said it would spawn a production version. Look for the compact CUV to arrive in showrooms in 2018. At some point, Volkswagen wants to expand the crossover lineup even further with a Golf-based model similar to the T-Roc concept. With the existing Tiguan and Touareg, the additions would mean any customer could find the perfect-size CUV when shopping for a new VW.

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