T-ROC is VW's vision of subcompact SUV

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Volkswagen AG will not ignore the subcompact SUV craze.

This week at the Geneva auto show, VW will unveil the T-ROC, a concept SUV comparable in size to the Nissan Juke and Mini Countryman.

The concept is based on the new MQB modular assembly kit that underpins the redesigned Volks-wagen Golf and Audi A3. So VW has the tools to build an SUV smaller than its compact Tiguan.

Upon releasing renderings of the T-ROC, VW said that it offers "a glimpse at future Volkswagen SUVs." The name is a riff on VW's habit of starting its SUV names with a T -- think Tiguan and Touareg -- and the SUV's intended ability to clamber up rocks.

The concept also has a removable tablet computer for a center-stack display and removable roof panels that can be stowed in the trunk. The T-ROC measures 164.5 inches long, halfway between the 152-inch Taigun -- a smaller VW concept SUV meant for developing markets -- and the 174.5-inch Tiguan.

For the United States, Volkswagen's top priority is sprucing up its lineup with a mid-sized SUV like the CrossBlue concept and a new compact SUV to replace the Tiguan. But if the T-ROC is any indication, a smaller SUV might be in the cards as well.

You can reach Gabe Nelson at gnelson@crain.com.

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