Volkswagen has launched its tiny tot of a SUV, the T-Cross – and it's all part of grand master plan to ensure that 50% of the cars it sells across the world will be a SUV by 2025.

The new T-Cross rounds off the German manufacturer's SUV product portfolio at the bottom end of the market and its SUV offensive is aimed at snaffling a bigger slice of that market – currently every fifth car sold is an SUV, so it is an ambitious target.

The new Polo-based T-Cross will now kick off its SUV stable, which ranges up to the Touareg at the top end of it spectrum, with the Golf-sized T-Roc and Tiguan sandwiched between them.

So what's the thinking behind the move? “SUVs are becoming increasingly popular with our customers throughout the world,” pointed out VW board member, Jürgen Stackmann. “This is why we are consistently pursuing our current SUV offensive. It will be a key contribution to strengthening our core business so that we can invest the necessary billions of euros in mobility and autonomous driving.”

Further SUV models are due to follow, he added. Volkswagen’s first full-electric SUV, the ID. CROZZ3, is to be launched in 2020 – the start of bringing 20 new full-electric models onto the market by 2025.

It already has some success in this sector. Its compact Tiguan is amongst the 10 best-selling cars in the world, with 5m units sold, while the Touareg, which has reached a third generation, will soon reach 1m units sold soon.

The new T-Cross – which has yet to have 'for sale' date to be attached – will come with a wide variety of assistance systems previously only available on cars in higher segments, said VW. Standard equipment includes a frontal monitoring system with pedestrian monitoring and emergency braking functions, lane assist, plus blind spot detection.

It has a novel sliding rear seat and an all round digital cockpit, with connectivity at its heart. And, it will have a choice of four turbocharged engines – three petrol and one diesel.

Two one-litre TSI three-cylinder petrol engines with petrol particulate filter can generate either 94bhp or 114bhp, while the top model is a 1.5-litre TSI four-cylinder with 148bhp. The oil burner choice is VW's well-proven 1.6-litre TDI four-cylinder of 94bhp.

Just like its sister model, the Polo, the new T-Cross will be manufactured at VW's Spanish factory in Navarra.