Volkswagen teases T-Cross concept ahead of Geneva motor show

Germany's biggest carmaker is promising to take the wraps off an innovative, exciting and compact crossover at next week's Geneva motor show.

AFP Relaxnews| Last Updated: Feb 24, 2016, 10:36 AM IST
Volkswagen teases T-Cross concept ahead of Geneva motor show

Germany's biggest carmaker is promising to take the wraps off an innovative, exciting and compact crossover at next week's Geneva motor show.

Expected to be called the T-Cross, the new car, though just a concept, is, according to VW, "the beginning of a broad SUV offensive."

Volkswagen currently offers two true SUV cars in its range: the full-sized Touareg and the Golf-derived Tiguan.
However, as the popularity of off-roaders rockets -- the latest IHS forecast states that they'll represent 27% of all vehicle sales in Europe by 2020 -- Volkswagen is looking to expand its offering quickly and in a way that will help it re-energize its image, particularly among younger consumers.

The T-Cross will be based on the next-generation Volkswagen Polo (due in 2017) and will be the company's smallest crossover when a production version becomes a reality in 2018. That will put it in direct competition with everything from the Nissan Juke and Renault Captur to the Ford EcoSport and Kia Soul.

Therefore it will stand out by having a very strong visual identity of its own rather than aping the looks of the new Polo. As VW says "It depicts a new automotive attitude to life whilst remaining perfectly suited for everyday use."

It will also become part of a dedicated range. A production model based on the T-Roc concept -- another similar if larger SUV design study that debuted at 2015's Geneva motor show -- is expected to go on sale as early as the end of this year and the T-Cross will sit directly underneath it when it goes on sale.

As well as sharp looks, the production version of the T-Cross is expected to come with either two-wheel or all-wheel-drive and with a choice of hybrid as well as traditional powertrains.

Volkswagen is also hinting that the car's interior will be almost button and switch-free, translating controls for things like climate control into gestures in the concept and perhaps into touchscreen commands in the production model.

To find out exactly what the T-Cross will bring to the compact SUV market we won't need to wait long. Volkswagen's official press conference is scheduled for March 1.