Volkswagen says the production 2016 Beetle Dune is inspired by the iconic classic Baja Bugs with its more rugged look and feel. It has a more aggressive personality and off-roady appearance that starts with a near half-inch increase in ride height.
Black fender flares widen the profile that’s backed up by a wider track than the standard Beetle. And that black cladding runs front to rear where it blends into unique bumper fascias, each with skid plate design elements.
The front end gets a deeper grille inlet with black honeycomb mesh and handsome aluminum finish trims. Standard headlights are HID, but you can option a new lighting package with Bi-Xenon headlights and LED daytime running lights.
At the rear a unique fascia with skid plate design is book-ended with a standard rear spoiler and LED taillights for 2016. Down the side are dressy Dune graphics to let really let people know what you’ve got as if they won’t know.
Wheels are unique as well, 18-inchers with a nice wide set of 235/45 tires. The convertible model here shows wheels with a gold finish. Volkswagen didn’t specify whether that was an across the board option choice, or standard on the drop top.
The cabin of this special edition Beetle also gets a healthy dose of extras, starting with sport seats lined with a combination cloth and vinyl with orange contrast stitching. The leather-wrapped steering wheel also gets the contrast thread along with the shift boot, console top, and E-brake handle.
Front and center is the newest MIB II infotainment system which offers advanced connectivity features for 2016 including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. Optional packages can also bring Fender audio which is purely awesome.
The 2016 Beetle Dune comes in three colors including the Sandstorm Yellow you see here. There’s also Pure White, or Deep Black Pearl available on both coupe and convertible. But note that with the white and black, you don’t get the body color interior accents.
Now when it comes to engines, Volkswagen’s wording was careful to say that “at launch” the Dune will only be available with the 170 horsepower 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine, with a standard six-speed automatic.
I note the “at launch” wording because it is possible they had originally intended to offer the Dune also with the 2.0-liter TDI diesel engine. But as of now, they are blacklisted by the EPA until further notice. It’s hard to say when these engine may return to market, if they ever do.
The 2016 Volkwagen Beetle Dune goes on sale very soon in coupe form. The Dune convertibles will start production in the summer and arrive at that time. Pricing hasn’t yet been announced, but figure a starting point just under $30,000 as a safe guess.