Well, there’s one place where the Polo SUV won’t be getting much appreciation, and that’s at the South Pole – but only because the penguins who live there don’t know how to drive! And it’ll be much the same case at the other end of the planet too, unless Eskimos can’t resist the charms of compact crossovers too. But everywhere in between, this is one segment that car buyers just can’t seem to get enough of.
In India, the floodgates were opened by Ford with the EcoSport. Then, the Duster, which virtually singlehandedly established the Renault brand in India. And now the Hyundai Creta is racing to the top of the charts, but not before Maruti Suzuki has jumped into the fray with the Vitara Brezza. In Europe, 2013 saw a little over half a million compact crossovers hit the streets. By 2021, sales are expected to exceed 2 million units a year. But, so far, two of the biggest names in the automotive world – Toyota and Volkswagen – have been missing from the action.
The Skoda Yeti is 4,220mm long, and is built on the Octavia platform – which means that it’s a little bigger. The Audi Q2 meanwhile – which is expected to be launched next year – will be a more premium product. Alongside the reveal of this baby Q from Audi at the Geneva Motor Show was the unveil of the T-Cross Breeze Concept – a cabriolet crossover based on the Polo platform. Forget about wind in the hair for a moment, add a roof, standardize a few details that are typical of a show car (as we’ve done in these renderings), and what you’re left with is a pretty good idea of what to expect from Wolfsburg a couple of years from now. And that’s the key – you see, this new crossover probably won’t hit the market till 2018.
AT THE LOWER END OF THE RANGE
In its final version the Polo SUV (let’s call it that) could be cut short by a couple of hundred millimetres from the concept’s length of 4,130mm – perhaps even making it sub-four metre. VW is also developing a new crossover on the Golf platform, so it’ll have to ensure enough differentiation between the two SUVs – both of which will likely arrive around the same time.
From a styling perspective, the Polo-based SUV is expected to follow the styling direction of the new Tiguan. Of course, being a Volkswagen, expect clean lines and slender headlights. At the back, it’ll get a full width Audi-esque tailgate, with the taillights built in. To give it a rugged stance, it’ll have some plastic cladding around the wheel arches and on the lower part of the doors and bumpers. Under the hood, of course, it’ll likely carry a full range of engine options borrowed from the Polo hatch.
And don’t lose hope if what you were dreaming of was an open-top SUV. Volkswagen’s senior managers have hinted that series production of the T-Cross Breeze could soon become a reality – not before further market study though. It would be foolish to rule it out though – especially since coupe SUVs appear to have become all the rage and the Evoque Cabrio has already introduced the idea of an open-top SUV.
The T-Cross Breeze concept, a cabriolet, was showcased at the Geneva Motor Show this year – but a regular SUV derivative will be soon headed for production (the renderings of which you see here).
AND IT DOESN’T END THERE…
After years of dwelling and experimentation, VW is finally developing a full range of SUV’s:
T-ROC: This is a concept from the 2014 Geneva Motor Show (see the photo below), which measures 4,180mm in length. It’s expected to make it into production in 2018, and could register an increment increase in length to 4,250mm.
TIGUAN: Available later this year, the second generation of this SUV measures 4,480mm.
Tiguan XL: Seven seats in a body that measures almost 4.70 meters (see photo above). Officially, it’s expected to be launched only in the North-American market in 2017, but it may come to India as well.
TOUAREG: The third-generation of the top model of the European range will probably be available by 2018.
CROSS-BLUE: The production version of the Cross-Blue concept (see photo on the right) is expected in 2017. This SUV has been especially designed for the US market, and measures 5 meters in length.
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