Acid test in Lapland: The Volkswagen Driving Experience has created a circuit and dynamic driving areas on the icy surface of the frozen “Arvidsjaursjön” lake. To be quick here, you not only need skilful hands and a sensitive foot on the throttle, but also – perhaps most importantly – the necessary technical basis. “The T-Roc R certainly has that in these conditions,” explains professional racing driver Benjamin Leuchter. “The Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC) is a very important feature, particularly here on the ice. Depending on the conditions, the driver can adjust the rigidity of the dampers, in order to generate more traction.”
Should there be a loss of traction on the front axle, the tried and tested 4MOTION four-wheel drive system on the T-Roc R diverts power to the rear axle. However, the system has been refined somewhat in the T-Roc R, as Leuchter explains: “We configured the software in such a way that the interventions on the rear axle kick in earlier and a little stronger. This helps the car to drift better – particularly here, where you are driving on ice and snow. That gives you a car that is a little more tail heavy. When pushed to the limit, the rear transfers more power than the front, which in turn gives you a sportier driving experience.”
Accurate on the throttle.
“When developing the T-Roc R, we integrated an important feature, which you do not always get with modern cars: the linear throttle. The positioning of the pedal corresponds exactly to the percentage of engine power applied. If the driver presses the pedal halfway down, the engine delivers exactly 50 percent of its maximum power. This is how it used to be with the Beetle, in which the pedal was obviously still connected by a cable. This gives you far more direct feedback from the engine. For the sporty driver, this is hugely important, particularly on tricky surfaces like ice.”
The brake system.
Pointing towards the enormous brake disks on the T-Roc R, Leuchter says: “When you are familiar with the car and know how it reacts, then it gives you confidence in your car. Few other parts are as important in this regard as the brake system. We optimised the brake pads, brake disks and main brake cylinder on the T-Roc R. If you have to hit the brakes hard, you can feel the necessary firmness of the pedal and get the ideal brake pressure. We honed the characteristic curve here, so the driver receives direct feedback through the pedal – another necessity for sporty driving on any surface.”
And the best thing …
“… is quite simply the overall T-Roc R package,” replies Leuchter when asked about his favourite feature of the T-Roc R. “When setting the car up, we focussed on achieving the best possible interaction between all the components. We have done a very good job of that with the T-Roc R – and I am looking forward to more great Volkswagen R models in the future, when we will do exactly the same thing.”