Previewed by the T-Cross Breeze concept

Volkswagen has been late to embrace the crossover craze but the company is finally taking notice up as spy photographers have snapped the first photos of the upcoming Polo-based crossover.

Caught wearing a three-door Golf body, the mule doesn't reveal much about the upcoming model but it's increased ride height indicates this particular prototype is a crossover.

The production model was recently previewed by the T-Cross Breeze concept which debuted at the Geneva Motor Show earlier this year.  While the concept was a two-door convertible, the production model will have four traditional doors, a roof, and a tailgate.

Engine options remain unconfirmed but the T-Cross Breeze concept was powered by a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine which produced 110 horsepower and 129 pound-feet of torque.  It was connected to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission which enabled the front-wheel drive crossover to accelerate from 0-62 miles per hour in 10.3 seconds before hitting a top speed of 117 mph.

The Polo-based crossover will ride on the MQB platform and is expected to be introduced in 2018.  It remains unclear if the model will be offered with an all-wheel drive system but we'll likely learn more in the coming months.

Gallery: VW entry-level crosssover mule spy photos