Ever since the Münchners discovered the letter X in 1999 things have been all rainbows and sunshine over at BMW.

The compact crossover segment is one of the hottest on the market — anybody who wants to enter the game now has to play with value propositions like the Nissan Qashqai and Juke, and upcoming Hyundai Kona and Kia Stonic. For latecomers it’s only going to get more difficult.

And with the T-Roc crossover Volkswagen is very late indeed, having started toying with the idea of a really compact crossover since showing off the T-Roc concept at the Geneva motor show in 2014. But it’s only now that Wolfsburg is ready with a teaser showing off the production vehicle — we’ll be sure to check it out at the car’s worldwide public premiere at the Frankfurt motor show next month. Positioned below the Tiguan, the T-Roc will be Volkswagen’s smallest SUV, and sit on the MQB platform that’s prevalent throughout the range underpinning stuff like the Golf. Unlike the Golf, however, the T-Roc will mostly bank on the Polo’s range of engines, the car will therefore be sold mostly as a front-wheel drive vehicle although it is expected Volkswagen will make 4Motion all-wheel drive an option on the highest-spec variants of the T-Roc. When it goes on sale in Europe first, buyers will be looking at a line-up offering a three-cylinder turbocharged 1.0-litre engine and 1.5-litre turbo units providing up to about 150 horsepower.

Other markets will start getting the T-Roc from next year only, even though production starts before the end of 2017, and regions like the US and the Middle East might get bigger engine options, too.

Measuring in at 4,200mm long, Volkswagen is only giving us teaser shots so far which do show a crossover that looks a lot like the Audi Q2 it’s related to. That means it’ll weigh around 1.4 tonnes and swallow about 400kg of cargo load with the split rear seats up.