2012 Volkswagen Polo R Line

German automakers display something of a fetish when it comes to turning ordinary vehicles into performance models. Mercedes-Benz does it with its AMG line, BMW with its M range, Audi has its S and RS models... even Volkswagen has its R brand. Formidable vehicles all, but not everyone is willing to pony up the big bucks to get their hands on one and all that entails. So, each automaker also offers a line of accessories that give their stock models most of the visual attitude without the mechanical fortitude to back it up – or the sticker price that goes along with it.

The latest such cosmetic upgrade comes from Volkswagen and its R GmbH division, which have given the Polo a bit of a makeover. The Polo R Line benefits from sportier bumpers front and rear, side sills, a gloss-black grille, tinted windows, upgraded fog lights and an interior with sports buckets, leather-wrapped three-spoke wheel, aluminum pedals and black headliner. Of course, the requisite R badges appear throughout so buyers can at least pretend they got the performance model when all they're packing is a 1.2-liter four with 105 metric horsepower that'll take nearly ten seconds to get them up to 62 from a standstill.

Scroll below for the press release and scope out the high-res images in the gallery above for a closer look.
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POLO R LINE: ADDING MORE STYLE TO THE SUBSTANCE

Volkswagen is adding even more style to its popular supermini, with the launch of the Polo R Line, which builds on the impressive specification of the Polo Match with unique styling touches inside and out.

On the outside, the R Line is distinguished by a unique styling pack. This consists of deeper, sportier R Line front and rear bumpers, a black gloss radiator grille with R Line badging, deeper side sills and 16-inch 'Mallory' alloy wheels. From the B-pillars back, the glass is dark-tinted and 65 per cent light-absorbing, while the standard front foglights also include a static cornering function.

Step past the brushed aluminium scuff plates with R Line logos, and inside there are sports seats with 'Kyalami' cloth upholstery and an R Line logo on the headrests, along with a leather-trimmed three-spoke steering wheel with R Line logo and aluminium-capped pedals, while the roof lining is finished in black cloth.

Standard equipment is comprehensive, including an RCD 310 radio/CD player with six speakers and multi-device interface, for plugging in an iPod or other compatible device, 'Climatic' semi-automatic air conditioning, a multifunction trip computer, electric windows (including in the rear on five-door models), height-adjustable front seats, a split-folding rear-seat backrest, electrically operated and heated door mirrors, illuminated vanity mirrors, front and rear reading lights, a tyre pressure monitor and, of course, remote central locking.

The R Line is available with just one engine, the existing 1.2-litre 105 PS TSI petrol unit, with a six-speed manual gearbox. This engine propels the Polo R Line from zero to 62 mph in 9.7 seconds, and on to a top speed of 118 mph. Fuel consumption is 53.3 mpg on the combined cycle, and CO2emissions are 124 g/km.

Prices start at £15,195 on the road for the three-door model, rising to £15,815 for the five-door. The Polo R Line is available to order at Volkswagen Retailers now, with first deliveries expected in July.