Baja Bugs used to rule the 1960s and even today in California it’s very likely to see classic Baja Bugs prowling the roads with their all-terrain tires, shortened fenders and exposed engines which made them look purposeful but mean. VW is trying to revive that spirit with the new 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune.
The automaker looks to combine qualities of the vintage off-road Baja Bugs with a modern and sportier touch. The Dune will be availed in two body styles i.e. coupe and convertible. The story of the Baja Bugs began in California hence it was only sensible of the automaker to debut the new Dune at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show.
2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune Exterior
The beetle is particularly famous due to its exterior profile as opposed to interior or its drive-train specs. Ideally, the Baja Bugs were conventional Volkswagen Beetles modified for off-road duty. However, unlike the traditional Baja Bugs, the Dune is a regular street car in an off-roaders outfit.
The new 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune will have a raised ground clearance to help it venture into more terrains though it won’t go far from the pavement. The exterior has been heavily redesigned. The vehicle will feature new front and rear skid plates which give the small car an aggressive look. The side sills are aluminum polished and feature black rubber tops similar to the ones on the original Beetle’s running boards.
As opposed to the original boards the rubber tops will never rust. The Dune will ride on 18-inch alloy wheels which are wrapped in all-season tires. The vehicle also features LED taillights as well as some special graphics. The Dune will be offered in Pure White, Deep Black Pearl and Sandstorm Yellow paint colors.
2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune Interior
The interior features just minor changes. The front seats are sport-bolstered. The front also features leather wrapped steering wheel. All seats are upholstered in leather. Both the seats and the steering wheel feature a special orange contrast stitching.
For Sandstorm Yellow models, the upper door panels and the dashboard pad color is matched. the rear seats of the coupe which is essentially a hatchback have a folding capability which allows cargo space to expand from 15.4 cu-ft to 29.9 cu-ft. the convertible Dune’s trunk provides a mere 7.1 cu-ft. the automaker will offer the dune in two optional packages which are; the Lightening package which features HID headlights, LED rear license plate illumination and LED running lights.
The technology package adds a Fender premium audio system, keyless entry, push-button engine start, dual-zone climate control and a power sunroof for the Beetle Dune Coupe. Volkswagen has also fitted the car with some of the latest technology features in the industry. The Dune is equipped with a 6.3-inch capacitive touch display that comes integrated with a USB port and the Car-Net App-Connect system which features Android Auto, MirrorLink Smartphone integration and Apple Carplay.
For safety , the 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune comes equipped with an automatic post-collision braking system, a reversing camera, park assist, blind-spot warning with rear cross-traffic alert all as standard. For more, buyers can subscribe to the Car-Net Security Service program which features family guardian features like boundary and speed alerts as well as an automatic crash-notification system.
Under the hood, the Dune comes with a single drive train. The unit is a 1.8 L, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine that produces 170 hp at 4,800 rpm and 184 lb-ft of torque at only 1,500 rpm. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission system.
Since the Dune is marketed as an off-road car, we believe the automaker should have equipped the vehicle with their 4-Motion All-Wheel-Drive system even as an option as opposed to only FWD.
Price and release date
The Coupe will be the first to go on sale in the first quarter of next year while the convertible will follow up later in the third quarter. The automaker didn’t mention anything about the pricing of the Dunes. However, in Europe, the Beetle Dune Coupe will have a starting price of $ 25,200 while the Convertible will start at $ 29,650. We don’t expect prices in the US to vary much from the European pricing.
Remember the Jeans Bug of the 70s? Well, VW is set to pay its respects to the model with a special edition dubbed “the 2016 Beetle Denim”. The Denim comes with a modern touch that includes jeans-inspired seat pockets. The Denim will be availed in the first quarter of 2016.