Golf R Packed in A T-Roc Body For Equally Sharp Hotness, Only On A Bit Higher Positioned Seat

In an unprecedented invasion of performance SUVs, the Volkswagen Group introduced yet another performance crossover - the Volkswagen T-Roc R. It is basically a buffed up version of the highly sought after subcompact crossover T-Roc. Digging a bit deeper one can find a whole lot of the Golf R under its subtle body. And, that is a good thing. As for now, the Volkswagen T-Roc R is a near-production concept car. Yet, as is the case with the Cupra Formentor Concept, I believe it will be greenlighted for production in a few months following the 2019 Geneva International Motor Show.

The T-Roc R joins a quite astounding lineup of performance crossovers that include the Cupra Ateca, the Cupra Formentor Concept, the Skoda Kodiaq RS, the Volkswagen Tiguan R-Line with 240 horsepower engine, the Audi RSQ3, and the Audi SQ5 TDI.

Obviously, I included here almost all performance SUVs regardless of the power output. They do target similar customers. Do you really think someone in love with the Formentor does not dream bigger - like about the SQ5? Of course they do.

Obviously, Volkswagen is big on giving the drivers what they really want, and although it came to the SUV/Crossover party a bit late with the T-Roc, it definitely moved in the right direction with the hot one.


  • 19-inch wheels
  • Akrapovic four-tip exhaust
  • A lot of LEDs
  • Black brake calipers
2019 Volkswagen T-Roc R Production Concept Exterior
- image 825395

Opinions are divided on the exterior looks of the T-Roc. Some find it underwhelming, but I doubt that the hot Volkswagen T-Roc R Concept will leave that aftertaste. It is rigged with a multitude of special features never before installed on a T-Roc. Of course, R gmbh, a dedicated hub inside Volkswagen for the creation of hotness, managed to adapt many signature R styling cues for T-Roc’s crossover body.

In essence, the changes over the standard T-Roc include:

  • Redesigned radiator grille with polished silver trim of anodized aluminum
  • Newly designed R-Design bumpers with integrated LED fog lights
  • Skid plates finished in the same hue as the rest of the trim
  • R-Design rear bumper with fake air vents on the sides
  • Massive titanium, four exhaust tips from Akrapovic that aren’t fake (I like them a lot)
  • 19-inch Pretoria wheels (18-inch wheels as standard, but please go all in)
  • Mirror caps in a matt chrome finish
  • Widened wheel arches (yes, they are, but just a tad)
  • Black brake calipers because... it’s better than red
  • Black roof (if you want it)
  • Eight different finish hues available
2019 Volkswagen T-Roc R Production Concept Exterior
- image 825393

Obviously, such profound changes comfortably made the T-Roc R (I won’t use the Concept designation anymore because concept cars do not have different color options) the best looking T-Roc to date. It is also a bit lower. I’d include this in my talk about the suspension, but lowering any car, more often than not, makes it better looking as well. The T-Roc R included.

Now, I do feel that the T-Roc is really nice and looks fast, but the changes R gmbh lately made to the cars it drizzled up with “cool” slowly but surely fall from the cliff of creativity in the abyss of fruitlessness

. Personally, I give the T-Roc R a pass, but for the next R-branded car/SUV/whatever, I really hope that R will do something surprising and unique. I am not talking about power and performance, but about style.

2019 Volkswagen T-Roc R Production Concept Exterior
- image 825396

After all, with the N-Line cavalry from Hyundai, the TRD branded machines from Toyota, and especially bold Renault and Peugeot, the Volkswagen R has to do more than it ever did to remain at the top of this food chain.


  • More “R” badges than you are prepared for
  • Stainless steel pedals
  • Black headliner
2019 Volkswagen T-Roc R Production Concept Interior
- image 825368

In my long voyage that includes testing hundreds of cars, I found out that manufacturers usually employ similar techniques in an effort to make more buzz about the interiors of certain vehicles. Volkswagen, thus, employed a rather simple technique to light up the cabin and differentiate the T-Roc from other vehicles.

It painted parts of the inside trim blue. At least for the one that will be exhibited at the Geneva International Motor Show.

I am sure that you can choose the finish of the trim inside and match it with any of the available exterior hues.

Nevertheless, I find solutions like this cheap, uninspiring, and somewhat dull, because it is the same story on the regular T-Roc. As these pieces are basically slabs of plastic smashed on top of the dash, I don’t feel that it would be that expensive to create some kind of relief or intricate shapes and dedicate them to the R.

2019 Volkswagen T-Roc R Production Concept Interior
- image 825366

Aside from this, R gmbh did include some cool stuff in the cabin of the T-Roc R. Let me list the changes for you as I did with the exterior.

Interior novelties in the Volkswagen T-Roc R are:

  • Special R-branded key (I believe it is the same as with the Golf R)
  • R-branded stainless steel sill panel
  • “R” embroidered on the seats
  • R-branded steering wheel with shift paddles and special stitching
  • Black headliner (I don’t know if you ever drove a car with a black headliner, but for me, it makes the interior considerably snuggier and gives a somewhat more focused sporty ambiance)
  • Stainless steel pedals
  • White ambient lighting
  • Nappa leather available
  • Carbon inserts available (it fixes that complaint I had about the interior, but not completely)
  • Even more “R” decorations, because why not
2019 Volkswagen T-Roc R Production Concept Interior
- image 825370

All said and done, the cabin in the T-Roc R crossover does feel a tad more playful and better decorated compared to the standard version. Is it enough to give the T-Roc interior an edge that corresponds with the astounding drivetrain and performance it can achieve? I’d have to take it for a drive to give a definite answer.


  • Akrapovic Titanium exhaust
  • 2.0-liter, 300 horsepower engine
  • 4Motion
  • Progressive steering
  • Golf R Performance 17-inch brakes
2019 Volkswagen T-Roc R Production Concept Drivetrain
- image 825375

The Golf R is mad. Properly so. It also gave the T-Roc R all the important parts - namely, the 2.0-liter, turbocharged engine with 296 mechanical horsepower. That’s 300 in gorgeous metric terms. Add to this a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch gearbox and a 4Motion all-wheel-drive system and suddenly, I don’t freaking care about the plastic inside, fake vents in the back, or the skid plates.

This crossover is fast. Volkswagen said the T-Roc R will crack 62 mph in 4.9 seconds and top at 155 mph.

I mean, that’s quicker than the Audi SQ5 TDI that is, most likely, the best thing in terms of compact SUVs. Sure, the T-Roc is in a different segment - where cheaper vehicles reside - which makes it even more amazing in my mind.

Other important changes include a retuned suspension. As I’ve noted before, the T-Roc R is a bit lower. Half of an inch or so. More importantly, the suspension is stiffer. If the R went the same way as with the Golf R, the T-Roc R won’t be as prone to understeer. Plus, expect it to be leveled and capable of holding its own in high-speed bends. That’s actually where the Golf R excels. I believe the T-Roc R will too. That is actually one of the reasons why R integrated an even sharper progressive steering system.

2019 Volkswagen T-Roc R Production Concept Exterior
- image 825377
The big deal, at least in my mind, is the installation of the 17-inch brakes in the front.

They are taken directly from the Golf R Performance giving the T-Roc R some serious stopping power. I mean, track serious. Ok, I doubt that this one will hit the track a lot, but the brakes are awesome. When Volkswagen introduced the Performance Pack for the Golf R, it actually offered the car with slicks and installed special brake pads in order to considerably improve the performance on the track. The T-Roc R received all of that.

No wonder it has launch control and a special “Race” mode. Heck, you can even cut the Electronic Stability Control altogether. Remember, I am writing here about a subcompact crossover. Just so you don’t forget.


2019 Volkswagen T-Roc R Production Concept Exterior
- image 825391

All said and done; I can say that the T-Roc R actually received a full-fledged Golf R Performance Pack as standard. “R” introduced the Performance Pack in 2017, and it included the Akrapovic Titanium Exhaust, air curtains, sports diffuser in the back, those awesome brakes with special brake pads, and a better rear spoiler. It all landed on the Golf R Performance. Interestingly enough, the same hardware can be found on the Volkswagen T-Roc R Concept.

Somehow, I am glad, and I am a bit mad about it at the same time. I am glad because the T-Roc R is, well, fantastic, but I am a bit mad because “R” didn’t actually invent anything groundbreaking and unique for it.

To gain my focus back, let me list something:

  • 0-62 in less than 5 sec
  • Top Speed of 155 mph
  • Easily tuned to 350+ horsepower
  • Quicker than 2010 Mustang GT as stock
  • Quicker than Audi SQ5 TDI as stock

Really cheap

Ok, I am focused. I love it.

  • Leave it
    • The interior could get a bit more TLC
    • Not as special as I’d like it to be

Further reading

2018 Volkswagen T-Roc Exterior High Resolution Wallpaper quality
- image 728087

Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen T-Roc.

2019 Volkswagen T-Roc R Exterior Spyshots
- image 794013

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

2018 Volkswagen Golf R
- image 778927

Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen Golf R.

What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: