Volkswagen is planning to seriously ramp up SUV production over the next few years before the crossovers consume us all – but for now, here, have a tiny T-Cross cutesy and don’t forget your safety blanket…
China. Well, that’s kind of it.
China made Volkswagen fall out of love with the car, and deeply, madly in love with the SUV. Wolfsburg is so attuned to the world’s largest car market that VW chose China to launch the company’s SUV flagship, the all-new third-generation Touareg, and in order to keep up with increasing demand for SUVs the world over VW is preparing to ramping up production.
By 2025 every second VW sold will be some sort of SUV or crossover, as opposed to one in five at the moment, and naturally most of the growth is expected in China, followed by North America. To live up to it, VW will need to have a line-up of 30 SUVs around the world, so prepare for an invasion.
For now, VW has launched an entry-level crossover, and measuring in at just over four metres long it’s the smallest VW SUV ever. The new T-Cross, as they call it, is pretty market-specific so it won’t be available worldwide, but considering it had its world premiere in Shanghai we know where Wolfsburg’s loyalties lie. Of course Europe will also get the T-Cross next year, as will South America, however the company’s Middle East office tells Motormouth there are no plans for the T-Cross in our region yet, as they’re much more interested in the local release of the bigger Golf-sized T-Roc.
Seeing as it’s the tinsy-weeniest crossover on offer from the brand, the T-Cross makes do with a three-cylinder petrol engine which you can have with either 95 horsepower or 115 horsepower, however there is a top-spec four-cylinder 1.5-litre TSI model on offer too, worth 150 horsepower.
For a budget compact which will start from the equivalent of about AED80,000 in Europe, the T-Cross is also reasonably equipped coming as standard with various driver assistance features and detection systems. Optionally, customers can spec big-boy toys like adaptive cruise control and parking assist.
Based on the same platform that underpins pretty much everything from the Polo to the Audi TT, the T-Cross is really just a lifted hatchback so forget about any off-roading aspirations regarding this SUV, as it’s front-wheel drive without the availability of all-wheel drive.