Volkswagen CC R-Line: Beauty is skin deep

2013 VW CC R-Line front three-quarter viewSometimes, beauty is only skin deep. A few years ago, Volkswagen added some sex appeal to its handsome but staid Passat to create the CC. Then it dialed up the styling even further with the R-Line package. For 2013, the CC gets a facelift, and a revised R-Line model.

Like the CC itself, the R-Line is all about looks. It is not a sportier version of the stock CC, and has nothing to do with the VW Golf R. Instead, the R-Line is an options package that adds sportier trim and extra features, sort of like the S-Line packages available on Audis.

Like those Audis, the R-Line gets a tasteful body kit. The treatment includes a new front bumper with a wider air intake projector-style foglights, along with side skirts. The R-Line also gets bi-xenon headlights with LED running lights and adaptive front lighting (we’ve come a long way from good ole’ light bulbs), LED taillights, and an LED license plate light. Eighteen inch wheels round out the exterior changes.

The interior gets some mild upgrades to complement the new body kit. R-Line scuff plates remind the driver and passenger that they are in a special CC, in case they forgot. A multifunction steering wheel includes paddle shifters (on models equipped with the DSG double-clutch transmission), to give the R-Line a sportier feel.

Convenience features include automatic climate control, 12-way power heated front seats (covered in V-Tex leatherette), an upgraded sound system with HD Radio and a six-disc CD changer (yes, some people still listen to CDs), iPod connectivity, and Bluetooth.

One area VW did not touch was the CC’s engine bay. The R-Line is mechanically identical to the CC Sport, offering the same 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-four, which makes 200 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque.

The R-Line is not a groundbreaking model, but the regular CC was a pretty good car to begin with. This mildly enhanced VW goes on sale in the fall. Volkswagen did not announce pricing, but expect the R-Line to start above the CC Sport Plus, which stickers for $32,850.