Sales of crossover utility vehicles—the ones that look like tough, capable, high-riding SUVs but actually sit on passenger-car underpinnings—continue to surge all over the world.
Carmakers are meeting the demand by adding new varieties (four-door coupe utility vehicle, anyone?) and smaller sizes.
Volkswagen has big plans for the segments that sits below what U.S. buyers call compact crossovers.
DON'T MISS: VW Teases Affordable Compact Crossover SUV Concept For Geneva (Feb 2016)
In that segment, its 2018 Volkswagen Tiguan will arrive this fall to compete with mainstay larger compact crossovers: the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Nissan Rogue, and Toyota RAV4.
Below that, though, VW will offer at least two other, smaller crossover utilities.
One has been previewed by various Volkswagen T-Roc concepts at auto shows over the last couple of years—and now there's a teaser video.
Volkswagen T-Roc concept
The production version is expected to be unveiled at this fall's Frankfurt auto show, the German industry's prime showcase for introducing high-volume models.
And it will ride on the VW Group’s flexible MQB architecture, used for compact cars like the Golf hatchback and wagon, vehicles as large as the Atlas seven-seater going into U.S. production now—and smaller models too.
The T-Roc, in fact, is a close relative of the Audi Q2 sold in various overseas markets.
READ THIS: Audi Q2 small SUV debuts at Geneva, another crossover for luxury brand (Mar 2016)
That's a slightly more stylish version of the Q3 we see here in the States, but the T-Roc will have entirely distinctive lines and sheetmetal that will set it apart.
Concept versions of the T-Roc were shown as three-doors, largely because they're viewed as sportier.
Still, the conventions of the crossover market are sure to insist on a five-door model as the volume version: three-door SUVs sell in only low numbers, with the lack of rear doors working against their utility.
Volkswagen T-Roc concept
The production T-Roc's overall length and width should be similar to the concept’s numbers of 164.5 and 72.1 inches, though.
While Volkswagen plans to bring a new crossover smaller than the 2018 Tiguan to the U.S., it won't be the production T-Roc.
Other elements from the concept—a corporate inline-4 engine, available all-wheel drive, and a digital instrument cluster—will appear as well.
Instead, according to Volkswagen spokesman Mark Gillies, it'll be "a different crossover utility vehicle."
Its competition will include the Chevrolet Trax, Honda HR-V, Nissan Juke (and new Rogue Sport), Mini Countryman, and Toyota C-HR.
EDITOR'S NOTE: An earlier version of this article suggested that the production Volkswagen T-Roc would come to the U.S. in late 2018, likely as a 2019 model. According to VW spokesman Gillies, that's not the case. We have updated the article accordingly, and apologize for the error.