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Sunday 22 July 2018

Volkswagen ready the T-Roc for '€25,500' roll-out of new compact SUV as BMW revise i3 and outline wave of debuts

In focus: New models

Compact SUV - Volkswagen's T-Roc
Compact SUV - Volkswagen's T-Roc
The interior of the new Volkswagen
BMW's new i3
Eddie Cunningham

Eddie Cunningham

Expect Volkswagen's new compact SUV, the T-Roc, to cost from around €25,500/€26,000 when it goes on sale here in December.

That's speculation, of course, but I don't think it will be too far off the mark for a starting price. There were will be three spec levels: Trendline, Comfortline and Highline.

For now it looks like automatic post-collision braking, active lane keeping, pedestrian monitoring and emergency braking will be standard across the range.

Higher up spec and options include adaptive cruise control, traffic jam assist, emergency assist, proactive occupant protection, main beam assist etc.

Initially there will be a 1-litre 115bhp petrol, a 1.5-litre 150bhp petrol and a 2-litre 150bhp diesel.

Then early next year there will be a 1.5-litre DSG 150bhp and a 1.6-litre 115bhp diesel.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the 115bhp petrol works in this. It's a great little engine.

This is as important a car for Volkswagen as has been the case for a long time, especially when you hear talk that it could ultimately sell more than the Golf.

Volkswagen describe it as part of the 'biggest model offensive' in its history.

The T-Roc (above and right) is positioned in such a way - and if the price is close to what I expect - that it can draw drivers of Renault Capturs at one end of the scale and Nissan Qashqais at the other. And it is reported there will be a smaller T-Cross Breeze (currently in concept mode) by 2019.

Based on the group's MQB platform, the T-Roc is 4,234mm long, 1,819 wide and 1,573mm tall.

According to those with the measuring tape that makes it 252mm shorter, 11mm wider and 131mm lower than the Tiguan. It is also a tad shorter (21mm) shorter, 21mm wider and 120mm higher than the Golf. As you would expect, the inside is familiar in terms of dash, controls etc but there are lots of coloured trim elements to brighten it up.

Critically, however, for a small SUV the seating position is elevated on each row.

They claim 445-litre boot capacity which is just 65 litres more than the Golf but behind (170 litres) behind the Tiguan. Fold the 60/40 rear seats, though, and you get a whopping 1,290 litres.

Motor industry experts reckon the compact SUV segment will nearly double in size over the next decade. That's a lot of Crossovers.

BMW's new i3

* Meanwhile, BMW has unveiled the i3s (above) - an updated version of its electric hatchback range which has been given something of an overhaul.

The new-look four-model i3 line-up will debut at Frankfurt as the marque battles for electric-car buyers with the likes of Tesla.

The i3s gets a more powerful (181bhp) synchronous electric motor (up 13bhp on the 168bhp standard i3), will have 20ins alloys as opposed to the current 19in and there is a 40mm wider rear track.

The marque will have a strong line-up at the Frankfurt Show with the X3 SAV also making its world premiere.

We already know that it will go on sale here on November 11 with prices starting from €58,580 on-the-road.

As well as usual diesels (the xDrive 20d xLine is expected to be top seller on the Irish market), it heralds a new 2-litre petrol engine.

And there will be a M40i - the first M Performance vehicle in the X3 line-up.

They will also have the world premiere of the new Concept 8 Series Coupe which will be on the go next year.

Another concept for Frankfurt is the Z4 roadster and the new version of the marque's 6-series Gran Turismo.

Topping it all off will be the new M5 as reported here last week.

Indo Motoring

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