The recently spied T-Roc isn’t even out yet in standard guise, but Volkswagen has already admitted it’s toying around with the idea of giving its new crossover the full-on R treatment. The reveal was made by the company’s man in charge of development, Frank Welsch, while speaking with Autocar about what’s in store for the Golf-based model, which set to ride on the flexible MQB platform.

Interestingly, he said that while the GTI badge would not be compatible with the T-Roc, he can imagine a stronger version of the crossover with the R suffix. It all depends on whether the regular versions of the model are a success and also if there is going to be enough demand for a T-Roc R to create a viable business case for the powered-up crossover.

If the model eventually gets the stamp of approval from VW’s execs, it would probably feature the same engine as the recently facelifted Golf R. The hot hatch utilises an uprated version of the 2.0-litre TSI developing 310 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque with the standard six-speed manual gearbox. The optional seven-speed, DSG bumps torque by 15 lb-ft for a total of 295 lb-ft.

2018 VW T-Roc spy photo
2018 VW T-Roc spy photo

As a T-Roc R would be heavier than a Golf R, the all-wheel-drive crossover wouldn’t be able to match its performance. The beefy hatchback needs 5.1 seconds to run the 0-62 mph sprint with the manual, or only 4.6 seconds with the dual-clutch ‘box. As for top speed, the Golf R is electronically capped at 155 mph, but the optional Performance Package coming this autumn will throw away the limiter to unlock the Golf R’s full potential: 166 mph. 

Looking at the performance figures, expect the T-Roc R to do the sprint a couple of extra ticks of a second. As for the top speed, it will likely decrease a little bit as well, not just because of the crossover’s extra weight, but also due to the less aerodynamic shape of its body.

The R might not be the only performance-oriented version of the T-Roc, either: since VW could decide to do a plug-in hybrid GTE derivative using Golf GTE running gear. The chances of seeing a hot diesel-powered T-Roc GTD are, however, slim. Because dieselgate. 

Manufactured in Palmela, Portugal, the T-Roc is expected to premiere online in production specification in August, about a month before its public debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Sales should kick off shortly thereafter. It’s going to be followed before the year’s end by the all-new Touareg and in 2018 by a Polo-based subcompact crossover.

Source: Volkswagen via Autocar

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Gallery: 2018 VW T-Roc spy photos