Provided by

Volkswagen’s first high-performance version of its popular T-Roc compact crossover has just gone on sale.

The ‘R’ model, pictured, is expected to get to Irish dealerships early next year.

I understand it will cost from €53,750.

I’d say most people associate the T-Roc with being a nicely decked-out small-family crossover. It is, and remains so, as buyer numbers attest.

But this ‘R’ addition shows how the car has the ability to be a powerhouse too.

The new ‘R’ model gets all the punch and power of the 300bhp 2-litre TSI engine that we know lies under the bonnet of the highly-rated Golf R.

That’s a lot of ‘go’. But as well as the 300bhp, there is an impressive 400Nm of torque (pulling power).

Technically the T-Roc R can belt to a highly illegal top speed of 250kmh – so you need to sample that only on the track, please.

However, you should be able to sprint (where legal and safe to do so) to 100kmh from a standing start in 4.8 seconds. Now that’s nippy.

To help cope with all that power, you can see how having the brand’s all-wheel-drive 4Motion system as standard makes a lot of sense.

Also, the standard function Launch Control ensures smooth, but fast, acceleration.

Volkswagen’s 7spd DSG transmission is standard; there’s no manual gearbox.

I understand there has been good initial interest in the car with Volkswagen insisting that the T-Roc R “will feel no less of a sports car than its Golf sibling”.

Now that the order books are open, it expects first deliveries “hopefully by February”.

As well as performance elements there is a lot of safety equipment aboard, including adaptive cruise control, front assist, autonomous emergency braking and lane assist.

Among options open to you are upgrades to a performance titanium exhaust system made by specialist Akrapovič and you can choose larger 19ins alloys.

Provided by