VW’s fastest compact SUV to date

The Volkswagen T-Roc R is not yet officially unveiled, but we know what it looks like thanks to a fresh round of spy shots. The car has been spotted at the Nurburgring numerous times where it’s undergoing high-performance tests while giving us a clue of what to expect. Spy shots reveal the T-Roc R sans any camouflage, and it looks largely similar to the regular T-Roc with just a few minor updates to make it stand out.


2019 Volkswagen T-Roc R Exterior Spyshots
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The understated looks don’t exactly do justice to the engine that is underneath the hood. But that is how Volkswagen likes to operate – see the Golf R, for example.

Differentiating between the T-Roc and the T-Roc R would take more than just one glance.

While the front is almost the same, the rear gets a different exhaust setup – four pipes – along with a boot spoiler. The other parts, like the body kit and big 19-inch wheels, are expected to be the same as the T-Roc, although the diameter of the alloys will be larger. The T-Roc R will also feature bigger brakes and revised suspension. Given that it’s the performance-spec car, will it get the aero package and air damns on the bumper as well? We reckon the final production body will.

Like we mentioned earlier, The T-Roc R will get larger diameter tires that will not only help reduce body roll but will also give better road grip. Couple that with the four-wheel drive system and the whole thing feels a little redundant.


2018 Volkswagen T-Roc High Resolution Interior
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The T-Roc R even shares its interior with its weaker counterpart.

The impressive layout, which seems very un-Volkswagen, will be seen in the T-Roc R.

The touchscreen infotainment system and Volkswagen’s Digital Driver’s Display will carry over. The whole layout feels very premium and sporty at the same time. We would hope for some extra bolstering here to provide more support when you run it hard at the corners, but that remains to be seen as of the time of this writing. That is what the T-Roc R is built for, though, right?


2019 Volkswagen T-Roc R Exterior Spyshots
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The T-Roc R will be based on the MQB A platform that also underpins other hatches in the VW family.

It will get the tried-and-trusted engine from the Golf R – a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder that churns out 310 turbocharged horses.

It is mated to a seven-speed DSG transmission that helps the car reach 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Well, that’s the time for the Golf R, so expect the T-Roc R to take a bit longer to get there; reason being the additional weight and higher center of gravity.


As for the pricing, the T-Roc retails at £31,000 ( $41,000) for the top trim, so we speculate the T-Roc R to be in the ballpark of £38,000 ( $50,000) when it finally hits the market next year.


Cupra Ateca

2019 Cupra Ateca
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Yes, brothers fight sometimes as well; even if they are mechanically the same. Actually, the Ateca is a perfect example of what you can expect from the T-Roc R. The performance brand of Seat launched the Ateca with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged RSI petrol engine that generates 296 ponies. Power will be sent to all the wheels via a seven-speed DSG automatic transmission. This SUV is capable of hitting 62 mph in 5.4 seconds before topping out at 152 mph.

The Cupra Ateca rides on 19-inch diamond-cut alloys, and has a quad-exhaust pipe setup. On the inside, it gets the standard-fare 8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, digital instrument panel, etc. Price is expected to be around $50,000, which is on par with the T-Roc R.

Read our full review on the 2019 Cupra Ateca.

Nissan Juke Nismo RS

2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS High Resolution Exterior
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The Juke Nismo RS has the potential to take on the T-Roc R. With the aggressive styling over its regular sibling, the Juke Nismo RS is a car that loves to be thrown around. The Juke Nismo RS comes with a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder, turbocharged petrol engine that churns out 215 horses and 207 pound-feet of torque. It is mated to a six-speed manual that sends power to the front wheels. The Juke Nismo RS goes from naught to 60 mph in exactly 7 seconds. The light body makes the Juke Nismo RS a very agile vehicle; so don’t let the paper specs fool you.

With that said, the Juke Nismo RS never connected with the customers, and that was seen with the way the car was received. A bump of 20-odd horses over the regular Nismo does not excite much. Adding to the misery is the cramped interior space and weird styling. The top-trim retails for around $35,000, but is no longer in production.

Read our full review on the 2014 Nissan Juke Nismo RS.

Our Take

2019 Volkswagen T-Roc R Exterior Spyshots
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You must be wondering if there will be a T-Roc GTI, too. Well, the answer is no. The T-Roc is expected to surpass the GTI tag as that is specifically for hot hatches. The T-Roc R will most probably be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in a couple of weeks. Just like the T-Roc, the T-Roc R is also going to cater only to the Euro market. The T-Roc R will surely draw a lot of crowds, but can Volkswagen convert all of them into sales figures? We’ll have to wait till the car hits the dealers in the fourth quarter next year. Would you choose the T-Roc R over the slightly faster, but smaller and cheaper Golf R? Let us know in the comments section below.

  • Leave it
    • Looks just the regular T-Roc R.
    • Almost similar to the Cupra Ateca
    • Could be priced at a premium to avoid price-overlapping between models.

Further reading

2018 Volkswagen T-Roc High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen T-Roc.

2019 Volkswagen T-Roc GTI
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Read our full speculative review on the 2019 Volkswagen T-Roc GTI.

Sidd Dhimaan
Sidd Dhimaan
Senior Editor, Truck Expert, EV Expert - sidd@topspeed.com
Sidd joined the Topspeed.com team in 2017 as an intern and in less than a year he earned a full-time position as an associate editor and junior automotive expert. Fast forward to today, and he is currently serving as a senior editor, pickup truck expert, and EV expert.  Read full bio
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