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Volkswagen shows off new T-Cross. Image by Volkswagen.

Volkswagen shows off new T-Cross
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2019-08-05: Driven: Volkswagen T-Cross

What's this then?

This is VW's new small crossover, the T-Cross. Think of it as Volkswagen's answer to the Nissan Juke.

Didn't VW already make one of these?

You'd think, but no. In spite of the storming success of the Juke, and the likes of the Renault Captur and Peugeot 2008, this is VW's first venture into the small SUV world. Mind you, it's starting with a proven package - most of the mechanical gubbins underneath are lifted from the SEAT Arona, including the 95hp and 115hp 1.0-litre TSI engines, the 150hp 1.5 TSI, and the 95hp 1.6 TDI diesel (the latter two have not been confirmed for the UK market as yet). Oh, and the entire MQB-A0 chassis too.

Why didn't VW show off its new star in Paris?

I'll tell you why. Cara Delevingne is why. The British supermodel and actress might just be VW's secret weapon in the T-Cross launch, as she appeared on stage in Amsterdam with Ralf Brandstätter, Chief Operating Officer of the Volkswagen Brand, to launch the car. Amsterdam was one of three launches for the T-Cross in one day. Other events took place in Sao Paulo in Brazil, and Shanghai.

China and South America will be key markets for the T-Cross, and that, combined with Delevingne's 41 million followers on Instagram, are doubtless what convinced VW to swerve the Paris show and spend the money on its own event instead.

"We're actually presenting the T-Cross today three times over! We unveiled it a few hours ago in Shanghai, and Sao Paulo will follow later tonight. It shows just how important the T-Cross is to the Volkswagen brand as a truly global product" said Brandstätter.

"I travel all the time, so working with Volkswagen, the largest auto maker in the world, is a perfect partnership for me. The T-Cross is more than just a City-SUV - it has multiple facets (like me!), and I love how stylish it is!" said Delevingne.

What else do we know about the car?

Well, VW says that it will be very safe, and will chuck in the likes of Front Assist area monitoring system with Pedestrian Monitoring and City Emergency Braking System, the lane keeping assistant Lane Assist, Hill Start Assist, a proactive occupant protection system, and the Blind Spot Detection lane change assist system with the integrated Rear Traffic Alert all as standard.

It'll be practical too. The wheelbase is generous for a small-ish SUV, at 2.6 metres, and the boot stretches from 385 litres to 455 litres depending on where you position the sliding rear seat. Fold the rear seats flat and you'll have 1,281 litres with which to play.

Anything else?

The T-Cross will be built in VW's plant in Navarra, in Spain, where €1 billion will be invested next year in production. It'll also be built in South America and China, and UK sales will start early next year. No official prices have been announced yet, but you can expect prices to start in the region of £17-£19,000.

Neil Briscoe - 25 Oct 2018

2019 Volkswagen T-Cross. Image by Volkswagen.2019 Volkswagen T-Cross. Image by Volkswagen.2019 Volkswagen T-Cross. Image by Volkswagen.2019 Volkswagen T-Cross. Image by Volkswagen.2019 Volkswagen T-Cross. Image by Volkswagen.

2019 Volkswagen T-Cross. Image by Volkswagen.2019 Volkswagen T-Cross. Image by Volkswagen.2019 Volkswagen T-Cross. Image by Volkswagen.2019 Volkswagen T-Cross. Image by Volkswagen.2019 Volkswagen T-Cross. Image by Volkswagen.    - Volkswagen road tests
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