Volkswagen's new baby SUV is nearing its reveal. These new spy shots are our best glimpse yet.
Volkswagen’s new T-Cross SUV has been caught testing undisguised, ahead of its anticipated arrival at the Paris Motor Show in October.
A fresh rival for the Citroen C3 Aircross, and a new Volkswagen Group stablemate for the SEAT Arona, the T-Cross will take Volkswagen’s SUV line-up to four models, sitting beneath the T-Roc, Tiguan and Touareg.
• Best crossovers and small SUVs
The spy new shots confirm that VW hasn’t taken the Russian doll approach to styling. The overall shape of the car is much more square compared to the T-Roc, and while there are some current VW SUV design traits – such as the grille – the T-Cross should stand out at the bottom of the brand’s line-up. Essentially, the T-Cross is a Polo SUV, but it hasn’t taken any of its design direction from the firm’s supermini.
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Image 4 of 48
This mule wears a small bit of masking, but official teaser sketches fill in the gaps. As such, we expect the rear lights to be connected by an LED lighting strip spanning the width of the tailgate.
VW will use the all-new Polo as a base for the T-Cross, but because of its bigger focus on practicality the newcomer will have slightly inflated proportions. Spy shots suggest that the baby SUV will be even taller than its in-house rival from SEAT, the Arona.
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Image 11 of 48
The MQB chassis that will sit beneath the T-Cross (the same basic architecture that is used on everything from the Polo to the Passat saloon) means VW will offer the T-Cross with a wide range of petrol and diesel engines, as well as the possibility of plug-in hybrid technology.
The core line-up will be based on VW’s new 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol, which will offer power outputs ranging from 75bhp to 115bhp. Five and six-speed manual boxes will be standard across most of the range, while a dual-clutch automatic transmission will be available on higher-spec models.
It’s unlikely that VW will introduce 4Motion all-wheel drive on the T-Cross due to the additional cost that this would pass on to the customer.
Still, there’s the possibility of a GTI version; VW boss Herbert Diess has previously told Auto Express that the GTI badge would be reserved for VW’s smaller cars, while the hotter R badge would only find its way to larger vehicles. Because the Polo and T-Cross will share the same platform, the new 197bhp 2.0-litre turbo from the latest Polo GTI would fit straight under the bonnet.
The past 18 months have seen the baby SUV market become awash with new arrivals from the likes of Kia, SEAT and Citroen, with rivals from Skoda and Lexus waiting in the wings (see below).
Rivals line up to battle T-Cross
VW’s T-Cross will be the first of a raft of new baby SUVs – some a bit bigger, some smaller, some for very different purposes. As our exclusive images show, Nissan and Mercedes are armed with fresh metal, and new entrants from DS and Lexus are waiting in the wings.
Second generation of Nissan’s Juke arrives early next year. The SUV will be sticking with its divisive but distinctive style.
DS 3 Crossback
Aimed at the more premium end of the market, the DS 3-based SUV will be the French brand’s first foray into the class.
An all-new Jimny model will retain its focus on being a rugged, utilitarian and distinctive offering in the market.
Second-generation GLA will be based on new A-Class, which means radical cabin and plug-in hybrid tech for the first time.
Skoda small SUV
Czechs’ smallest SUV will sit below the Karoq and be a direct rival for new VW.
New baby Lexus boasts hybrid technology and fresh Toyota platform.
Baby MINI Countryman
Fully electric SUV is set to sit beneath the Countryman in MINI’s model range.
How does the new Volkswagen T-Cross compare to its rivals? Let us know below…