We just had an up-close look at the sporty version of Volkswagen’s compact crossover at the Frankfurt Motor Show, known as the R-Line, but the vehicle seen here isn’t it. The R-Line is an appearance package that adds a modest body kit along with some spiffy interior upgrades, but leaves the powertrain alone. According to our spy sources this blue T-Roc is an actual R model, complete with the same turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder from the Golf R. That engine makes 310 horsepower in European trim, which would be quite a step up from the 188 hp currently available in a top-of-the-line T-Roc.
There’s not much else we know about this R model. There are rumors circulating that it might not even make it to production, though with Golf DNA already infused into the T-Roc and a sporty appearance package established, offering more power doesn’t seem like it would be a stretch. The R model would almost certainly send power to all four wheels, and there would likely be some suspension changes as well.
Appearance wise, we note just a few small changes on this model versus other T-Rocs we’ve seen. The most obvious difference is the quad oval exhaust tips, but we also see slight differences in the daytime running lamps.
Volkswagen is expecting big things from the T-Roc in the rapidly expanding compact crossover segment. It has already garnered attention for being an attractive design with good functionality, but in a market that’s quickly becoming saturated with competition from pretty much every automaker on the planet, having a sizzling performance variant could help VW differentiate the T-Roc from the rest of the pack.