Volkswagen Australia has confirmed it will soon be selling an R-Line package for the Golf Wagon and a revised version of the Tiguan SUV, joining the current R-Line-equipped models that consists of the Touareg, Beetle and Golf hatch.
The R-Line packages vary between models, but the general idea is to make the car look and feel more sporty to drive, according to VW. Additions such as larger alloy wheels (usually 18- or 19-inches) lowered sports suspension, revised front and rear bumpers, R-Line badging and sportier interior finishes are the staple items of R-Line versions.
The R-Line models are generally reserved for the top-end model. In the Golf hatchback's case, it's the Highline, where the package adds $2200 to the price. The Beetle is only available in one standard specification, with an R-Line pack adding $2000. The Touareg is the odd one out, as it has a dedicated V8 TDI R-Line model, priced at $114,990.
Volkswagen Australia managing director, John White, told CarAdvice that the idea with R-Line is to give buyers who want to stand out from the crowd something a little more desirable, but not at the same sort of premium that the all-out performance models attract.
White said the idea with R-Line is that it will expand to all viable models.
“We’d like to,” White said of the idea of offering an R-Line package for all Volkswagen products. "Australians like tough looking cars, better performing cars. They like more creature comforts, more equipment."
Volkswagen Australia general manager of communications, Karl Gehling, told CarAdvice that there are further gaps to be filled in the R-Line portfolio, but that some models haven't yet seen the R-Line treatment, including the updated Polo being launched locally this week.
"We’re offering more broadly across the range to have a defined high-series R-Line range of models," Gehling said.
"Absolutely, we are considering it for each model variant that has [an R-Line version] available. But it’s not available for every variant, yet."
When asked whether the closeness of the R-Line name and the R performance models draws confusion from customers, Gehling admitted it could be tricky to differentiate for the uninitiated.
"I think there is some confusion because we often get people talking about, you know, what engine does it have," he said. "For a lot of customers, with the TSI engines we've got, a lot of people are very pleasantly surprised with the performance of the regular engines. The aim of having the fastest, or the highest output engine, is not necessarily the be-all and end-all.
"But the whole point of the R-Line models is to give people who want to give their car a more dynamic visual lift. It's not solely external design changes, it's also that they come with the lowered suspension, so there is a benefit from a handling perspective as well," he said.