Volkswagen Beetle Dune Draws Inspiration from Baja Bugs

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The Volkswagen Beetle Dune is heading to dealerships early next year.

Originally debuting as a concept at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen has decided to produce the Volkswagen Beetle Dune and it will make its official debut at the 2015 L.A. Auto Show this week. Offered in both coupe and convertible forms, the 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune is inspired by classic Baja Bugs and will join the Beetle lineup as a new trim. Sporting a more aggressive appearance than the rest of the Beetle range, the Dune features new front and rear bumpers along with pronounced black wheelarch extensions that flow into the new fascias. It’s also ready to take on the desert with a raised ride height of 0.4 inches and a track that is 0.6 inches wider.

Offering contrast on the side of the vehicle are polished aluminum sills and black trim strips that are reminiscent of the original Beetle running boards. Located on all four corners are distinctive 18-inch Canyon aluminum-alloy wheels wrapped with 235/45/18 all-season tires. Dune graphics are displayed on both doors while the side mirrors also have contrasting black lower portions and Reflex Silver uppers. In the rear, the Beetle Dune has been outfitted with a large rear spoiler, standard LED tail lights and a new bumper that integrates matte black and aluminum elements.

SEE ALSO: 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

The 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune will be available in three exterior colors: Sandstorm Yellow, Pure White and Deep Black Pearl. At launch, the model will be powered by a 1.8-liter turbocharged TSI engine with 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque paired to a six-speed automatic transmission. The coupe model will be offered first in the first quarter of 2016 while the convertible variant will arrive dealerships in the third quarter of the year.

“The new Dune successfully captures the iconic spirit of Baja Beetles, with a more rugged feel and amenities never before offered on the third-generation Beetle,” said Joerg Sommer, Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “With its sporty and aggressive design and a number of the new technology features, we are confident that the new Dune will appeal to both new and returning Beetle customers.”

Discuss this story on our Volkswagen Beetle Forum

  • tmuscare

    To capture the iconic spirit of the original buggies VW should peruse the offerings of suchlike vehicles on eBay. Ditch the fenders, Add a canvas folding sunroof to open things up. Add a Spartan interior: rubber floormats, waterproof buckets and NO back seat. (How about a manual trans and a nice long shifter with a skull knob.) Nerf bumper up front with some tacked on spots and fogs. Modify the rear bumper to allow for a megaphone exhaust (I know – the engine is in the wrong place so we can’t have the complete experience of an exposed engine hanging out back.) And last, but not least add some appropriate offroad wheel/tire combo.

    I probably forgot something. I am getting old. BUT, deliver that buggy as described with AC (It gets hot in Scottsdale) and a warranty and there are a lot of old guys and sand rats who would buy one.

    Did anybody do up something like this for SEMA?

  • I think you’re on to something there.

  • Go drive an R-Line Beetle. Then you will understand. GREAT CAR!

  • New 2016 Civic Turbo can’t keep up with my 2014 R-Line. Dune in R-line package will be sweet. 1.8T is not same animal. Definitely get the 2.0 TSI Motor! Wait for Dune in R-line package.

  • NHIndigo

    1/2″ higher and wider wheelbase does not constitute as an improved stance…IMHO … Off road ability would require a significant amount of at least 4 to 6 inches more ground clearance. Adding in set of more aggressive tires and manual transmission would make for a more interesting package as well. Amping up the engine is great if you are getting a race ready package but if exploring/adventure is the intent low end torque and handling will win out over sheer horse power. The success of the original Beetle was it was light weight, easy to work on, basic refinements, and had a fun factor off the charts. It helped a lot that there was an aftermarket support system that aided you in your compulsion to modify. Maybe they need to bring out a companion to the “Dune” in a fire road scrambler format with a “Rock” trail crawling suspension. How about it Volkswagen?

  • johnls39 .

    I think the Dune package makes the Beetle rugged looking in a way. Not my cup of tea but to each his or her own.