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VW R-Line adds More Performance to Model Mix

Performance model could add to record Passat sales.

by on Jan.17, 2013

The Volkswagen Tiguan is one of the newest models to get the R-Line treatment.

In recent years, the Detroit Auto Show has threatened to turn into the battery-car show.  But while there are plenty of hybrids, plug-ins and the like waiting on the Cobo Center floor this year, there’s a clear revival of performance.

And while the 2014 Chevrolet Corvette is clearly one of the show’s stars, Detroit makers aren’t the only ones emphasizing muscle. Volkswagen is expanding its R-Line and showed the Passat Performance Concept at the North American International Auto Show.

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With the Passat setting a record with more than 117,000 sales in 2013, a performance-oriented model could help add to that total. But VW isn’t waiting to give some of its existing models a boost.

A show car for now, the VW Passat Performance Concept.

Among the many models on the Volkswagen stand, showgoers can discover R-Line trim packages for the Tiguan and Touareg SUVs.

For the Tiguan, the special model rides on 19-inch rims and has a color-matched body kit, fender flares, rear spoiler, LED license plate illumination and an R-Line badge on the grille. The Tiguan R-Line interior gets a flat-bottom steering wheel, stainless-steel scuff plates, aluminum sport pedals and black headliner. The R-Line package is available on the SEL trim model with front- or all-wheel drive.

Modifications to the Touareg R-Line are similar to those on the smaller ute, except for larger 20-inch rims. The Touareg R-Line also gets a sport-tuned suspension. The sportier package is available for the Touareg Lux model equipped with the 3.0-liter VR6 or 3.0-liter TDI diesel.

VW didn’t announce pricing for the R-Line crossovers, but both are expected to arrive in showrooms next fall. VW already offers R-Line versions of both the CC and Beetle coupe.

Will the Passat be the next to get a performance boost? The Passat Performance Concept uses VW’s 1.8-liter, turbocharged and direct-injected four cylinder that produces an impressive 250 horsepower. While VW calls it a concept, a production model would seem likely to find its way to dealers at some point.

Currently, the Passat is offered with a 2.5-liter five cylinder, 3.6-liter V-6 and 2.0-liter turbodiesel four cylinder.

The Passat concept also features lowered ride height and a number of visual enhancements, including dual exhaust tips, 19-inch wheels, LED taillights and carbon-fiber style mirror caps. Inside, the seats get specific two-tone leather and the dash has carbon-fiber-like pieces.

Bryan Laviolette contributed to this report.

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2 Responses to “VW R-Line adds More Performance to Model Mix”

  1. Jorge M. says:

    The R line is a cash cow for VW. Most of the styling bits are acceptable but the R models should also include power, handling and brake upgrades also, for the price premium VW will charge.

    • Paul A. Eisenstein says:

      AGREED! And I feel the same about other pseudo-performance packages.

      Paul E.