The Volkswagen T-Cross SUV has been caught testing ahead of its launch next year almost completely devoid of disguise for the first time. As previously predicted, the new small SUV follows the overall style of the larger Volkswagen T-Roc, offering chunky, modern styling in a much smaller package.
Volkswagen will plug the small-SUV-shaped hole in its range with the T-Cross. The car is likely to be unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in September and will sit below the Volkswagen T-Roc, Tiguan and Touareg in VW’s burgeoning SUV range.
The new SUV is styled to resemble its T-Roc brother, using a similar front-end design with prominent foglights and large grille flanked by stylish headlights. A range of personalisation options is also likely to be offered, including contrasting roof colours and a choice of chunky alloy wheels. However, despite its tough styling, the T-Cross won’t be available with four-wheel drive in order to keep running costs down.
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The Volkswagen T-Cross will be based on the same "MQB" mechanical package that underpins the Volkswagen Polo supermini, as well as the SEAT Arona, which was launched late in 2017. Safety kit such as adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and autonomous emergency braking, which should make it “one of the safest vehicles in its class” according to VW, will be fitted to the T-Cross.
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The T-Cross will be VW"s first rival to established models such as the Nissan Juke, Peugeot 2008 and Renault Captur, while offering a more "authentic" SUV look than the Ford Fiesta Active. Its sturdy looks are assisted by a wheelbase – the distance between front and rear axles – some 90mm longer than the Polo"s, which is likely to result in a more spacious and versatile interior. Measuring 4,107mm in length, the T-Cross is also 135mm longer than the Polo and 127mm shorter than the T-Roc. Like the Renault Captur, it will also feature a sliding rear bench to allow passengers to boost knee room or boot space.
The T-Cross Breeze concept was powered by a turbocharged 1.0-litre TSI petrol engine. When the car arrives in production form, it’s likely that it"ll be the smallest model in VW’s growing SUV portfolio, but that won’t stop the T-Cross from being offered with the usual wide range of petrol and diesel engines, including the latest 1.5-litre TSI "EVO" petrol. The 1.5-litre engine features cylinder deactivation technology, which shuts down part of the engine when full power isn’t required, before seamlessly offering full power when you put your foot down - giving lower fuel consumption and emissions. In the SEAT Arona, these petrol engines return over 55mpg and emit between 110-115g/km of CO2.
Diesel buyers are likely to be offered a 1.6-litre TDI engine with 94 or 113bhp, offering up to 70mpg and emissions of around 105g/km of CO2.Interior
The interior of the T-Cross Breeze concept was instantly recognisable as a Volkswagen, but also displayed a wide variety of futuristic features. These suggested far more sophisticated in-car technology than VW could offer at the time the concept was unveiled, but systems such as gesture-sensitive infotainment have since become a reality in the company"s range.
The dashboard was dominated by two screens – one in place of the dashboard dials and another in the centre console, similar to those found in the latest Volkswagen Touareg.
The two screens are fully configurable and can display infotainment information, driving modes or an off-road setting that can link with the car’s satellite-navigation system.
A Beats Audio sound system features in the T-Cross, much like the one in the facelifted Volkswagen up! city car, while it’s also compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.Volkswagen T-Cross price & on-sale date
While there’s been no official confirmation from Volkswagen, a Paris Motor Show reveal this autumn would suggest the first T-Cross will arrive in the UK this winter or in early 2019. Expect prices to be slightly higher than for the SEAT Arona, from around £17,000 to £25,000 depending on the trim level.