After a lengthy teaser campaign, Volkswagen Philippines has officially opened the reservations books for the 2021 T-Cross. Not only did they reveal the specs and prices of the new crossover, but they are also offering a special early bird discount of PHP 30,000.
It will officially be launched on May 26, 2021, and will go up against the likes of the Ford EcoSport, and the Geely Coolray. But unlike its contemporaries, the PH-spec T-Cross is not available with a turbocharged engine under the hood.
Instead, it has a naturally-aspirated 1.5-liter engine derived from the Santana. It makes 113 PS with 145 Nm of torque and is mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. What it lacks in sheer power, it makes up for in fuel economy. According to Volkswagen, it can average 5.9L/100 km in mixed highway and city driving conditions, or nearly 17 km/l.
All well and good, but most automakers nowadays are offering turbocharged engines on their B-segment crossovers. So why did Volkswagen decide not to offer a turbocharged powertrain on the all-new T-Cross?
Well, according to Josh Altarejos, head of Product Strategy & Planning Division of Volkswagen Philippines, the naturally-aspirated 1.5-liter engine has sufficient power. He added that it is enough for both highway and city driving.
But perhaps the biggest advantage the 1.5-liter has is that it's shared with the 2021 Santana. That means engine parts can be shared between the two models, reducing costs and ensuring constant parts availability.
But does this mean there won't be any other engine options available in the future? Altarejos said that they are currently studying whether to bring alternative engine options. They did not mention any specifics, but our best guess is they're studying to bring the 1.4-liter TFSI that's available in China.
Unlike the naturally-aspirated mill, the 1.4-liter turbo engine makes 140 PS and a healthy 250 Nm of torque. And instead of a six-speed automatic, it is coupled to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission. The 1.4 TFSI allows the crossover to go from 0 – 100 km/h in 7.7 seconds, beating out the 1.5's time of 13.3 seconds.
If Volkswagen Philippines decides to bring in the T-Cross with the 1.4 TFSI engine, it could attract buyers that are looking for a little more oomph under the hood. However, the 1.4-liter turbo may not be as fuel-efficient as the 1.5-liter motor.
With nothing set in stone just yet, we'll just have to wait and see whether Volkswagen Philippiines will actually offer another engine for the T-Cross.