The feisty crossover is ready to fight BMW's X2 M35i and Audi's SQ2.

Many moons after the Touareg R50, Volkswagen finally has a new high-riding model on which it has slapped the “R” badge. Meet the first-ever T-Roc R, a performance crossover you could describe as a Golf R on stilts. It may not look like the all-paw hot hatchback, but it’s packing the very same turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine with 296 bhp and 295 pound-feet of torque.

Gallery: VW T-Roc R at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show

Aside from borrowing its TSI engine, the T-Roc R has taken the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system and the seven-speed DSG, while the brakes are sourced from the Golf R equipped with the optional Performance Package. Interestingly, VW will give drivers brave enough to do without the electronic nannies the possibility to switch off the traction control system.

Volkswagen T-Roc R

In terms of performance, the VW T-Roc R needs only 4.9 seconds to complete the 0-62 mph run and it will reach an electronically governed top speed of 155 mph.

When it comes to the design, there are no surprises. A step up from the T-Roc R-Line, the fully fledged R version adopts more aggressive styling with generous air intakes up front and the quad tips at the back part of the Akrapovic titanium exhaust system. It sits as standard on 18-inch alloy wheels, but you can pay more and opt for a 19-inch set. Also part of the package is a stiffer suspension setup bringing the crossover closer to the road for more agile handling, which is also enhanced by the standard progressive steering system.

Volkswagen T-Roc R

Bear in mind VW labels the T-Roc R as a near-production concept car, but as it was the case with the Golf GTI TCR that evolved from concept to production model, the final version should be virtually the same. We’ll first see the concept next month at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show, with sales of the showroom-ready model to commence towards the end of the year.

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Volkswagen T-Roc R: New top version of the compact crossover model

  • World première of the near-production concept car in Geneva
  • High-performance variant with 221 kW / 300 PS and 400 Nm
  • 4MOTION all-wheel drive and 7-gear dual-clutch gearbox as standard
  • “R”-specific, sporty design with newly designed front and rear ends
  • Extensive standard features: progressive steering, sports running gear with driving mode selection and race mode, launch control and a traction control system that can be disengaged
  • T-Roc R1 combines performance and lifestyle