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Volkswagen boss Herbert Diess has revealed that Volkswagen is working on a range of hot SUVs that will wear the R badge as the German brand looks to expand its high-performance R product lineup. A VW T-ROC R would be likely to arrive first.

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Speaking at the annual 'GTI Treffen' VW meet at Lake Worthersee in Austria, Diess told Auto Express that while the GTI brand will be reserved for performance-oriented hot hatchbacks, the R brand has more potential.

"We have a second sub brand which is R. With R we are considering. GTI has something to do with the hatch and this size of car - we shouldn't expand this brand.

"For high-performance SUVs there is definitely customer demand. There are some premium cars there already that are quite successful. I agree that it is a good fit for the brand."

It's likely the 2.0 litre unit from the Golf R would make a good fit.

His comments support those made earlier this year by the firm's head of development, Frank Welsch, who said a hot model had been talked about from the beggining of the T-Roc's development.

"I could imagine more powerful engines and it has been prepared for the eventuality," Welsch said. "I wouldn't call it a GTI - an SUV isn't a fitting car for that badge, perhaps - but I could imagine it as an R.
 

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Nissan has toyed with limited-run GT-R-engined versions of its Juke SUV, and launched Nismo models, but VW's decision to launch an R version of the T-Roc would signify a stepping up in the mainstream performance SUV stake
 
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