Besides developing a droptop T-Roc, VW is also working on a high-performance R flavor of the compact crossover.

Whenever you think of performance cars from Volkswagen, the “GTI” and “R” suffixes usually spring to mind. The Grand Tourer Injection portfolio encompasses the up!, Polo, and Golf, while the R badge is currently limited to the Golf. Earlier this year, VW revealed it won’t expand the GTI family with crossovers, but it did hint at a beefier T-Roc. You’re looking at it.

A couple of prototypes of the T-Roc R have been spotted undergoing intense testing at the Nurburgring while showing off their R-specific quad exhaust tips. The black one appeared to be completely stock as opposed to the fully camouflaged test vehicle since that one seemed to have a new front bumper. VW’s decision to slap on an extensive amount of disguise could be a sign the “R” version will come along with quite a few styling tweaks. That being said, knowing Wolfsburg and how it designs performance derivatives, the add-ons will be on a subtle level.

More or less, the T-Roc R will be a crossover version of the Golf R from where it’s expected to inherit a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with a little over 300 horsepower. Being an R-badged car, the speedy crossover set to rival the SEAT Cupra Ateca is going to come as standard with all-wheel drive. Aside from packing more punch, the flagship T-Roc will benefit from chassis tweaks, upgraded brakes, and a stiffer suspension to make the compact crossover feel sportier.

Because of its taller and heavier body, the VW T-Roc R won’t be able to perfectly match the performances offered by the Golf R, but that’s a compromise crossover-loving buyers will be willing to make. That and what will likely be a higher starting price over the all-paw, high-powered hatchback.

The T-Roc R is allegedly slated to arrive as early as 2019, so about one year before the controversial two-door cabrio model we’ve also spotted recently at the Green Hell.

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