Volkswagen Australia wants to expand its R range with two new SUVs for 2022.
The company plans to introduce the Tiguan R and T-Roc R alongside the Mk8 Golf R hatch and wagon, which are due in 2022.
“Ideally Golf R would be joined by the T-Roc R, which could be available to us at that model’s mid-life revision, and also the more recently seen Tiguan R,” said a spokesperson from Volkswagen Australia.
“We could be confident that all of these would be well received given that Australians already buy more Golf Rs than any market besides Germany and the UK. In the Tiguan’s case, the Highline 162TSI is the single best-selling variant.”
The introduction of R-badged small and mid-sized SUVs would give Volkswagen a unique selling point in both segments.
The current T-Roc R, for example, uses a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine making 221kW of power and 400Nm of torque. It’s put to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission, and is good for a 100km/h sprint time of 4.9 seconds.
Those outputs put it far above anything currently available in the segment.
It will have to contend with the Hyundai Kona N, which is expected to pack the same turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder as the i30 N albeit with all-wheel drive. The current i30 N produces 202kW of power and up to 378Nm of torque on overboost.
The only other potential threat is the turbocharged, all-wheel drive Mazda CX-30, but it has yet to be confirmed for right-hand drive. It produces less power (186kW on premium fuel) but more torque (433Nm).
Likewise, the Tiguan R outmuscles everything in its segment, with power coming from a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with 235kW and 420Nm.
It’s also mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic and Volkswagen’s 4Motion all-wheel drive system, which is capable of shuffling power between not only the front and rear axles, but individual wheels on each axle.
Its most direct competition will come from the Hyundai Tucson N-Line, which has yet to be revealed.
Reports indicate the spicy Korean will use the same turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine as the Sonata N-Line, which produces 213kW of power and 422Nm of torque. It’ll be mated to an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
In the meantime, the imminent Ford Escape muscles out the Volkswagen Tiguan 162TSI for the title of most powerful mainstream mid-sized SUV.
It offers a turbocharged 2.0-litre four with 183kW and 387Nm, even in the base model.
The turbocharged Mazda CX-5 has them all beat in torque, however, with 420Nm of it. It falls shy in power, producing 170kW.