The T-Roc R SUV boasts 221kW of power and 400Nm of torque – the same outputs of the Golf R. Picture: SUPPLIED
The T-Roc R SUV boasts 221kW of power and 400Nm of torque – the same outputs of the Golf R. Picture: SUPPLIED

The slick way to make a performance car used to involve stuffing a big car’s engine into a small car. Times have changed so much that now one sticks a hot hatch’s engine into an SUV.

That’s how Volkswagen (VW) created the T-Roc R, a hot crossover SUV stuffed with the Golf R’s thunderous little powertrain.

The T-Roc R, which will make its debut at next week’s Geneva motor show, will boast 221kW of power and 400Nm of torque — the same outputs of the Golf R.

Critically, VW claims it will slip beneath the five-second barrier to 100km/h, ripping through in 4.9 seconds.

That’s fast enough to make the high-rise R just 0.3 seconds slower to 100km/h than the low-rise one, and both models are limited to 250km/h.

It’s also fast enough to belittle even the fiery little Golf GTi TCR, the 213kW front-drive brute that is 0.7 seconds slower than the T-Roc R to 100km/h.

Slated for overseas launch in the third quarter of 2019, the T-Roc R will share almost everything underneath with the Golf R, including its Haldex-based all-wheel drive system.

The all-wheel drive set-up leaves the T-Roc R running as a front-wheel drive most of the time, but switching to all-paw status whenever it needs the extra grip.

Just as hot hatches became a thing after hatches established themselves as a significant market chunk, so hot crossovers are arriving in force.

The T-Roc R won’t have the market to itself, with enough competition from within the VW Group with the Seat Cupra Ateca and Audi’s upcoming SQ2.

It will ride on 18-inch alloy wheels, though 19-inch versions are optional. It sits 20mm closer to the ground than the stock T-Roc (though still significantly higher than the Golf R), with optional adaptive dampers and lowered suspension.

There are four tail pipes venting to the rear of the T-Roc R and even this can be upgraded with a louder Akrapovic system.

The 2.0l petrol-powered four-cylinder motor is mated exclusively to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

The brakes have been scaled up to 17”, too, with their own calipers, while the main visual upgrades include unique bumpers, an anodised grille and matte chrome for the mirror caps.

You may have to admire this car from afar, however, as VW hasn’t confirmed whether the T-Roc range is coming to SA.