Volkswagen T-Cross Challenges Range Rover Evoque’s Supremacy

VW’s convertible SUV concept hints at a new off-roader that could rival Range Rover’s chic drop-top

Volkswagen has previewed its plans for a new entry-level SUV with the unveiling of the smartly styled T-Cross Breeze at the Geneva motor show. Set to head into production initially as a more conventional five-door fixed-roof model, the new SUV is one of three high-riding Volkswagens that have been confirmed for launch within the next two years.

It is part of the German car maker’s bid to diversify its traditional line-up and extend its reach into new market segments. Joining the T-Cross in the expanded line-up of Volkswagen SUVs will be production versions of the earlier 4177mm-long T-Roc and 4987mm long CrossBlue concepts. They are planned to complement the recently unveiled second-generation Tiguan and upcoming third-generation Touareg in a five-strong range of SUV models.

Volkswagen calls the T-Cross Breeze “a melding of the SUV and convertible worlds”, in a statement hinting that the firm is considering producing a rival to the forthcoming Range Rover Evoque Cabriolet. The T-Cross is 4133mm long, 1798mm wide and 1563mm tall — dimensions that Volkswagen says will be mirrored on the production version of the new concept, which is due out in 2018.

Volkswagen T-Cross-2

The T-Cross is part of VW’s plan to expand into new markets

As well as previewing its new entry-level SUV, the T-Cross also provides clues to a new-look interior that Volkswagen is considering for future models featuring touch and pressuresensitive surfaces and a range of new connectivity functions. The new Volkswagen,
which shares its MQB-based underpinnings with the sixth-generation Polo, will face stiff competition from the likes of the Nissan Juke, Renault Captur and Vauxhall Mokka in what is shaping up to be one of the most hotly contested segments.

Relying on a combination of aluminium and hot-formed high-strength steel, the MQB platform helps provide the new SUV with a claimed kerb weight of 1250kg. Power for the latest Volkswagen concept is provided by its new turbocharged 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine – just one of a number of three and four-cylinder units that are planned to be offered with the new junior crossover.

The use of the letter T in the name of the T-Cross concept suggests that Volkswagen will continue the naming tradition in which each of its existing production SUV models receives a final name that begins with the letter T.

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