Volkswagen’s R GmBH does create some incredible performance machines — notably the new Golf R — but like other automotive performance brands, it also crafts a number of packages “inspired” by its top-line vehicles but devoid of the performance. The latest two examples — the Beetle and Passat R-Line — recently made their debut at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
Like previous Volkswagen R-Line models, the Beetle R-Line and Passat R-Line models primarily dress up both the exterior and interior. Beetle R-Line models are based on the Beetle Sport trim level, and are enhanced with unique front and rear bumper treatments, body-color side mirrors, and R-line logos beneath the A-pillars. Finishing off the exterior treatment are the customer’s choice of 18-inch “Twister” or 19-inch “Tornado” alloy wheels. The R-line treatment is available with any of the twelve available colors on the Beetle.
On the inside, the Beetle R-line gains ‘Kyalami’ design cloth seating surfaces, although black leather upholstery is optional. Vehicles with the leather option also get an embossed R-line logos placed on the headrests. That same logo is used on the door sill plates and steering wheel also get the logo for added effect.
The R-line treatment of the Passat is similar to the Beetle, with inch-smaller wheel options (17 and 18-inch, respectively) and the logo applied to the grille rather than the fenders. Interior upholstery options mirror that of its retro-themed smaller sibling, with the addition of stainless steel pedals. The R-line can be specified on all three of the trim levels offered on the European Passat, which are Trendline, Comfortline or Highline. Trim levels on the U.S.-spec Passat are S, SE and SEL.
Could we see R-line models in the U.S.? It’s not without precedent, as the 2012 CC was offered with an R-line package, and VW seems to be spreading the R-line love all over its European lineup, including the Tiguan compact crossover. When contacted for comment, Volkswagen’s U.S. offices confirmed that the R-line will continue to be offered on the 2013 CC, and that it’s “exploring the market feasibility” for other model lines.
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