Honestly, we're surprised that this car is being considered since the only other R model made by Volkswagen is the Golf. Enthusiasts would much rather have a Polo or Passat R, but that's not on the agenda.
Crossovers are big business right now, and Vdub wants three of them in hot configurations. We just caught glimpses of a Tiguan R with the 2.5 TFSI from an RS3, and there's talk of a performance Touareg.
But it's not like small 4x4s with powerful engines are unprecedented. There's the MINI Countryman JCW and the Juke Nismo. Audi is also reportedly bringing the SQ2 project to Frankfurt next month.
As we discussed earlier, The T-Roc R would need to at least match the 230 horsepower of a Golf GTI. And it can do that while putting its power more efficiently (4Motion AWD). 300 HP seems like a much better choice, particularly if MINI upgrades its Countryman JCW. Will people cut the German some slack because it's slightly smaller? Probably not, especially if it costs the same kind of money.
While there's little doubt it will sell by the thousands, we think it's still not the sort of headline-grabber the company needs. VW’s chairman Herbert Diess may have ordered the building of a T-Roc working prototype, but that doesn't necessarily mean it will be approved.