A new trim of the Volkswagen Beetle will be offered for sale by Volkswagen of America, Inc. in early 2016. As inspired by the classic Baja Bugs, the production version of the 2016 Beetle Dune will be offered as a new trim, making it basically a rugged version of the Beetle. It will be available initially as a coupe with sales to commence in the first quarter of 2016. A convertible variant will be available later with sales commencing in the third quarter of the year.
At launch, the 2016 Beetle Dune will be powered with a 1.8-liter direct-injection and turbocharged TSI four-cylinder engine that develops up to 170 hp of output and 184 pound-feet of torque. Power will be sent to the 18-inch Canyon aluminum-alloy wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission. In terms of looks, the 2016 Beetle Dune dons an appearance that is more aggressive than other Beetle models, specifically because of elements like a new front fascia and a new rear fascia as well as well-pronounced black wheelarch extensions drifting into the model’s bumpers.
Its stance is also more aggressive with the Beetle dune’s track being around 0.6 inches wider while its ride height is around 0.4 inches higher. Giving the Dune an athletic look is a new front bumper featuring a large central air intake that widens towards the bottom edge. Another feature that makes it appear sportier is a black honeycomb screen with an aluminum-look surround gradually morphing into the front skid plate.
Both sides of the intake feature two black honeycomb vents that house the fog lights. Customers who want more for their Beetle Dune could avail of a Lighting Package, which includes Bi-Xenon headlights, LED Daytime Running Lights and LED license plate lighting. When viewed from the sides, the most prominent feature would be its contrasting polished aluminum sills and black trim strips reminiscent of the original Beetle running boards.
Its wheels are wrapped in 235/45 all-season tires while its side mirrors have contrasting black lower portions and Reflex Silver uppers. The doors of the vehicle feature “Dune” graphics. On the rear, there are standard LED taillights and a large rear spoiler as well as a new bumper design that integrates matte black and aluminum elements.
The car’s rear diffuser also serves as a skid plate. Customers can choose from three exterior colors for their 2016 Beetle Dune -- Sandstorm Yellow, Pure White, or Deep Black Pearl. Dunes specified with a Sandstorm Yellow exterior finish features a cabin with body color upper door trims and dash pads.
On the other hand, Dunes with Pure White and Deep Black Pearl finishes feature a black door and dashpad trim. On all three color finishes, the 2016 Beetle Dune comes with sport seats that have contrasting orange stitching. Drivers are treated to a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel and the latest generation MIB II infotainment system.
The MIB II, which serves as host for VW’s available Car-Net suite of features, comes with a proximity sensor that could tell whether a hand is nearby. Upon detection, MIIB II then switches its display to allow drivers to easily select features. Moreover, the Dune comes with VW Car-Net connectivity, which includes App-Connect technology that allows integration with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink.
VW also installed into the Dune the Composition Color infotainment system that boasts of a 6.3-inch screen with a capacitive touch sensor. Coming as standard are USB and Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera and the Park Distance Control system. Customers may avail of a Technology Package that includes Climatronic dual-zone automatic climate control, KESSY keyless access with push-button start, a Fender Premium Audio System, and a tilt-and-slide sunroof.
According to Joerg Sommer, Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy at Volkswagen of America, the new Dune is able to capture the spirit of Baja Beetles with its more rugged feel and amenities never before featured on the third-generation Beetle. He expressed confidence that the 2016 Dune will appeal to both new and returning Beetle customers with its rugged design and new technology features.