VW Introduces R-Line Crossovers to North America

2013 Detroit Auto Show

Volkswagen brings sportier versions of its Tiguan and Touareg crossovers over from Europe to appear for the first time in North America at the Detroit Auto Show.

Volkswagen was founded to make the "people's car", as its name translates from German, but that doesn't mean that these days it can't offer some sportier models. That comes down to the R-Line, a series of subtly more performance-oriented versions of its existing models. While VW offers a full range of these models in Europe, only a few of them have made their way Stateside. But now VW has announced the arrival of the Touareg and Tiguan R-Line models to join the existing R-Line versions of the Beetle and CC.

Following their introductions overseas, the Touareg R-Line and Tiguan R-Line arrive in the US with a series of principally visual enhancements to the VW crossovers. They don't, however, pack the engine upgrades you'd find on the full-on Golf R. The Tiguan R-Line features unique 19-inch alloys with low-profile tires, fitted to a sport-tuned suspension and packed inside flared wheel arches. The package also includes body-colored side skirts with chrome trim, a rear spoiler, bi-xenon headlamps and an interior decked out with metallic-finish trim, flat-bottom steering wheel with paddle shifters, aluminum pedals and of course the requisite special badges inside and out.

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Upgrading on the SEL trim level, the Tiguan R-Line is powered by the Golf GTI's 2.0-liter turbo four, driving either the front wheels or all four. The Touareg R-Line, meanwhile, upgrades on the Lux trim level and packs either a 3.6-liter VR6 or 3.0-liter TDI, driving all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic and 4Motion all-wheel drive. It also encompasses 20-inch alloys on a sport-tuned suspension, specific front bumper, side skirts, dual oval exhaust tips and special badging. Inside are gloss black and aluminum trim and unique control surfaces. Both will debut at the Detroit Auto Show this week before deliveries begin shortly.