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The Volkswagen T-Roc R shows that small crossovers can be hot, too

It does sporty and sexy quite well

The Germans have a hot crossover on their hands. PHOTO FROM VOLKSWAGEN

Remember hot hatches? Despite them turning into a distant memory with the introduction of the ever-booming crossover segment, we have cars like the Hyundai Kona N keeping the spirit of the hot hatch alive in a much more practical form factor.

Volkswagen has had one entry that’s been in its lineup since 2019, which is the T-Roc. This peppy little subcompact crossover is roughly the same size as the T-Cross that roams our streets, but it packs a dirty little secret because it has an R badge.

The T-Roc R has low-profile tires and sports suspension. PHOTO FROM VOLKSWAGEN

Most vehicles of this class would pack a small displacement three- or four-cylinder turbocharged engine with a relatively modest power output in the range of 100-150hp. The T-Roc R, on the other hand, has VW’s famous 2.0-liter TSI engine mated to a seven-speed DSG with launch control (for those sweet, sweet DSG “farts”) that sends power to the 4Motion all-wheel-drive system supplemented by a sports suspension.

The power output? A crazy 295hp and 400Nm, capable of racing to 100km/h in 4.9 seconds. It may sound tame, but remember that this is in a package that’s small enough to easily run around in tightly packed city centers.

It also doesn’t look like a pedestrian crossover either. It sits 15mm closer to the ground, has angrier-looking front and rear bumpers, an optional quad-pipe Akrapovič titanium sports exhaust, a rear spoiler, and 19-inch alloy wheels.

Those brakes had better do their job properly. PHOTO FROM VOLKSWAGEN

The cabin has the same funky matching accent colors on the dashboard and door cards (like on a T-Cross), but features microfiber sports seats with contrast stitching. There’s also a leather sports steering wheel with paddle shifters, and stainless-steel pedals to complete the R-spec add-ons. Tech-wise, there’s VW’s digital instrument cluster and infotainment system, with the latter having R-specific customizability to the software.

The vehicle also comes with safety features like matrix LED headlights, lane-keep assist, emergency braking, and IQ.Drive that combines adaptive cruise control and steering for speeds of up to 210 km/h.

We like the matching blue seat inserts. PHOTO FROM VOLKSWAGEN

The asking price for the T-Roc R starts at €48,445 (P2.833 million). It’s a pretty penny, but you’re receiving a whole lot of fun in a package that won’t make your parents or your significant other protest against getting one. We know that the chances of AC Motors bringing this vehicle in are extremely slim, but our fingers are always crossed for the possibility.

Sam Surla

Sam is the youngest member of our editorial team. And he is our managing editor (believe it or not). He specializes in photography and videography, but he also happens to like writing about cars a lot.