With the T-Roc through the Scottish Highlands

A strong team for almost any weather


A strong team for almost any weather

Words by Sabine Cole
Photography by Anna Bauer
March 1, 2018

The Scottish Highlands are unique: a wild and weather-torn mountain landscape like nowhere else in the world. To master the challenge of this landscape, you need a good dose of self-confidence – plus a mountain guide like Andy Nelson and a car like the T-Roc that you can rely on in almost any situation.

Mountain Rescuer  Andy Nelson
Andy Nelson is a mountain rescuer and guide. He can be booked for mountain tours through the International Federation of Mountain Guide Associations.

A light snow begins to fall. The clouds have descended in a matter of seconds and spread out over the valley like a strip of cotton wool. Below, visibility is unobscured. The mountain panorama looks like a photomontage. At the top a soft-edged black-and-white picture, at the bottom brown and green in all their different shades. The dramatic beauty of the treeless mountains, the light conditions, the rapid alternation between mist and absolute clarity, have made Scotland’s Western Highlands into one of the most popular filming locations for Hollywood blockbusters. Whenever they want to make a scene truly monumental, directors head to Glencoe or Glen Etive, near the mouth of the River Coe in the sea loch of Loch Leven. It’s the perfect environment for a vehicle that has the self-confidence to master challenging terrain in every fibre of its being. We want to see how the T-Roc fares when Scotland unleashes its speciality: extremely challenging weather against a spectacular backdrop. Because bad weather doesn’t just affect the views, but also (and above all) the road conditions.


The Scots tend to regard the majestic landscape with wry humour ratherthan awe. Mountain guide Andy Nelson explains that one mountain with a striking silhouette is known in Scots Gaelic – a “highly figurative language”, according to Andy – as Sgurr na Cìche, the “peak of the breast”. In English, it’s called the Pap of Glencoe: the “breast of Glencoe”. Andy originally comes from northern England, but moved to the glen at the age of 18 because of the mountains. He has now been living and climbing here for three decades. We visit him at the Glencoe Mountain Rescue Centre and marvel at the snow-capped ridge in the background, which for a brief moment lights up gloriously in the sun.

The impressive rocks of Glencoe
This imposing rock formation is known as the Three Sisters. It’s a very helpful landmark for navigating in the glen.
The perfect environment for the T-Roc, which has the self-confidence to master challenging terrain in every fibre of its being.
Andy Nelson
Andy Nelson at the wheel of the T-Roc
Andy Nelson on the steep face in Glen Coe
You can just about make out the famous ridge known as the Three Sisters in the background. To photograph them, you can climb up the mountain opposite and hope for a brief break in the mist. Or you can simply wait a while by the road until the weather changes and you get a clear view.

Glen Coe and Glen Etive

Karte Glen Coe und Glen Etive
The A82 runs through the Glencoe and Glen Etive region. To the right and left are roads (some paved, others not) leading off into the valleys. It’s worth taking short detours down these roads, since each valley offers its own spectacular views – though you’ll have to turn around again at the end of the road to get back to the A82. You can buy maps in the small community store behind the Glencoe Mountain Rescue Centre.
T-Roc with Deer
The deer is very curious, as there’s a chance the people in the passing cars might have some food with them.

Deep in the Highlands

At a height of 742 metres, the Pap of Glencoe is not a true mountain or “Munro”. A Munro must have a height of at least 3,000 feet, equivalent to just under 915 metres. Anything below that is classified as a hill. There are 282 Munros in the Scottish Highlands. The tallest of them is Ben Nevis (1,345 metres). It was mainly due to climbing accidents on Ben Nevis that Glencoe Mountain Rescue (of which Andy is a member) was founded over 70 years ago.


Andy, a Volkswagen fan, is thrilled to be able to “test” the T-Roc Style TDI 4MOTION for his day in the mountains today. His own car is a T5 TDI, which he chose because it offers plenty of space for all his rescue equipment. Today, Andy only has a walkie-talkie and climbing gear with him for a mountain day tour, so the compact, sporty T-Roc is just the ticket. With its striking coupé line, the T-Roc defines a new type of vehicle: the CUV, with the C standing for both coupé and crossover. With a power output of 110 kW (150 PS) (fuel consumption in l/100 km: urban: 5,6 / extra-urban: 4,8 / combined: 5,1; CO₂ emissions, combined, in g/km: 134; efficiency class: B), sports mode, all-wheel drive as standard and optional dual-clutch gearbox, the T-Roc is designed for active driving – and Andy is most certainly an active driver. He puts his walkie-talkie and climbing gloves on the contrasting-colour leather seat next to him, and then sets off.

The T-Roc in the Valley
We all want to go out into nature and have fun. But if you want to achieve your goals, you need to be good at what you do.
Andy Nelson
View from the side window
The T-Roc from behind

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