The next aggro-microcar to make it stateside will be the 2013 Volkswagen Beetle R-Line, adding a little German juice to the battle between small cars with big power.
That's according to Car And Driver, who reports that the Beetle R-Line will go on sale in the U.S. this coming Spring. Volkswagen sells a Beetle R-Line convertible in Europe, but only the hardtop coupe will make it to American roads. That'll be just fine, if you ask driving enthusiasts.
The Beetle R-Line is the latest in a series of small performance cars, as American buyers finally seem to be warming up to their combination of performance and efficiency. You don't need a Mustang to own driving excitement anymore, and Volkswagen will be looking to take advantage after competitors like the Ford Focus ST and FIAT Abarth have warmed the market up to the idea.
Volkswagen hasn't released any specs for the U.S. version Beetle R-Line, but judging from the Euro edition, we can expect to see a handsome and buffed-up Beetle.
The appearance gets an immediate upgrade with a new front bumper and chrome trim on blacked-out air intakes, plus a special rear diffuser and aero skirts. Standard are 18-inch wheels, while 19-inch black or white wheels are optional on wider rubber. On the inside, a flat-bottom steering wheel and R-Line badges throughout the cabin distinguish the Beetle R-Line from the base car.
The Euro version doesn't include any power upgrades, but that could change by the time the Beetle R-Line finds its way to the U.S. We'll be watching closely to see whether Volkswagen adds more grunt to the aggressive little insect.