Volkswagen South Africa has confirmed it has scrapped plans to bring in a base Trendline version of its popular T-Cross.

Martina Biene, outgoing head of the VW brand in South Africa, confirmed the news during an online catch-up with members of the motoring media.

At the launch of the T-Cross in September 2019, the local line-up had comprised Comfortline and Highline variants (with the option of an R-Line package), each powered by an 85 kW 1,0 TSI engine mated to the front axle via a seven-speed DSG.

A flagship 1,5 TSI R-Line model is due to join the range soon, too, boasting 110 kW and 250 N.m.

VW SA had furthermore planned to bring in a pair of derivatives employing a 1,0 TSI unit detuned to 70 kW and fitted with a manual gearbox. The 1,0 TSI 70 kW Comfortline is still on the cards but the entry-level Trendline version has been cancelled.

According to Biene, this Trendline model was to be aimed at the rental fleet market but sales in this part of the industry have fallen flat thanks to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown. It remains to be seen whether VW SA will again alter its plans should the rental segment pick up.

The Trendline model was expected to ship standard on 16-inch steel wheels and feature the firm’s 6,5-inch “Composition Colour” infotainment system. Back in March 2019, VW SA had said the T-Cross range would start at “below R300 000” but with the Trendline variant no longer coming, that seems unlikely.