Volkswagen has taken great pains to let everybody know that the new Beetle is unlike any one that has preceded it. This was illustrated by the Black Turbo Launch Edition model that led the car’s introduction into the United States market. The Black Turbo is the meanest – and therefore coolest – Beetle we’ve seen in years.
The effort to give the Beetle a different image appears to be working so far – sales to men are over the 40% mark, up from just 29% with the previous model. That’s a huge improvement and comes down to a focus in design and advertising. We’ve been hoping that would carry over to a full-blown R performance model.
At the Los Angeles auto show in November, Volkswagen showed off a convertible version of the Beetle, as well as an R-Line appearance package. Available only on the existing Turbo model, it appeared that the R-Line was going to only be available in the European market. Now Volkswagen has announced that the Beetle R-Line will be available in United States as well. The company is beginning to take orders for the new model which will start deliveries in Spring of next year.
So far VW R-Line has been primarily a Europe-only thing, with just the Passat CC having the package as an option here. Like the Passat CC, the R-Line includes a more aggressive front fascia, “sports grained” black surfaces and chrome-framed turn signals, along with a rear bumper the that features a “race-inspired” diffuser. Other details you can expect are R-Line logos, standard 19-inch “Tornado” aluminum-alloy wheels, and Bi-Xenon headlights with LED DRLs.
As the top-line Beetle (until an R rolls around, that is), the R-Line will cost a pretty penny on top of the Turbo’s asking price. The arrival of the Beetle R-Line may herald more widespread availability of the package in the U.S.