Volkswagen Beetle Dune is ready for the desert

vw beetle dune coupe and convertible
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2016 Volkswagen Beetle DuneWhile the original Volkswagen Beetle did a fantastic job as basic transportation for millions of drivers, many owners also created potent offroad machines by modifying them into Baja Bugs. VW takes inspiration from this legacy in the dirt with the 2016 Beetle Dune that debuts at the Los Angeles Auto Show. Customers can spec the car as a coupe or get the sand in their hair with a droptop.

The Beetle Dune largely brings the rugged design of the eponymous concept from the 2014 Detroit Auto Show to production, and it certainly looks tougher than the rest of the Beetle lineup. The model wears a new front bumper with a lower intake that's outlined in bright trim, and niches in each corner house the foglights. The profile continues the brawny styling with black arch extensions around 18-inch wheels and polished sills. Dune graphics along the side add a somewhat vintage flair. The redesigned rear features a spoiler and fascia with exhausts at each corner. The interior remains mostly unchanged except for some orange stitching, but a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel and MIB II infotainment are standard.

Despite the tough styling, the Beetle Dune is probably more comfortable on the road than off the beaten path. The sole powertrain consists of a 1.8 TSI four-cylinder with 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque and a six-speed automatic that spins the front wheels. However, the ride height grows 0.4 inches compared to the standard Beetle to match the more rugged look, and the track expands 0.6 inches.

The Dune Coupe will go on sale in the first quarter of 2016, and the convertible will follow in Q3. Buyers will be able order the offroad-inspired models in Sandstorm Yellow, Pure White, or Deep Black Pearl.
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Drawing inspiration from classic Baja Bugs, the Dune offers striking new design features plus premium content

Offered as both a coupe and a convertible

 More aggressive exterior styling features new bumpers, side moldings, wheel design, and
raised ground clearance

 New technology for Beetle lineup includes LED taillights and Park Distance Control

 Standard equipment for Beetle Dune Coupe includes VW Car-Net® App-Connect
technology, USB connectivity, and rearview camera

 New available Lighting and Technology Packages

Herndon, VA – Volkswagen of America, Inc. today announced the production version of the 2016 Beetle Dune, which will go on sale early next year. Inspired by classic Baja Bugs, the vehicle will enter the Beetle family as a new trim, offering a rugged addition to the rest of the model lineup.

"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."

Overall, the Beetle Dune has a more aggressive appearance than the rest of the Beetle range, thanks to the fitment of new front and rear fascias and pronounced black wheel arch extensions that flow into the bumpers.

Additionally, the Dune's raised ride height of 0.4 inches and track that is 0.6 inches wider give it a more rugged stance.

Highlighting the front end's sporty look, the new front bumper features a large central air intake that widens towards its bottom edge, and a black honeycomb screen has an aluminum-look surround that morphs into the front skid plate. On either side of the intake, two black honeycomb vents contain the foglights. A Lighting Package will be available, which will add Bi-Xenon headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights and LED license plate lighting.

The side of the vehicle is characterized by the contrast between the polished aluminum sills and the black trim strips that are reminiscent of the original Beetle running boards. Distinctive 18-inch Canyon aluminum-alloy wheels are fitted with 235/45 all-season tires. The side mirrors have contrasting black lower portions and Reflex Silver uppers, and "Dune" graphics are displayed on both doors. At the back, the Dune features a large rear spoiler, standard LED taillights, and a new bumper design that integrates matte black and aluminum elements, as at the front of the car. The rear diffuser also acts as a skid plate.

Inside, the 2016 Beetle Dune features sport seats with contrasting orange stitching and a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel. Standard equipment includes the latest generation MIB II infotainment system, which serves as the foundation for Volkswagen's available Car-Net® suite of features. VW Car-Net connectivity includes App-Connect technology which allows integration with the three major smartphone platforms—Apple CarPlay®, Android AutoTM and MirrorLink®—allowing seamless integration for compatible smartphones.

The Dune is fitted with the Composition Color infotainment system that has a 6.3-inch screen with a capacitive touch sensor (similar to smartphone and tablet technology) that enables gesture controls like swiping and pinch-zooming. MIB II also features a proximity sensor, which detects when a hand is nearby and automatically switches its display to allow easier selection of specific features. USB and Bluetooth® connectivity for compatible devices are standard, along with a rearview camera and the Park Distance Control system. A Technology Package will also be available, which adds Climatronic® dual-zone automatic climate control, the award-winning Fender® Premium Audio System, KESSY® keyless access with push-button start, and a tilt-and-slide sunroof.

The 2016 Beetle Dune will be available in three exterior colors: Sandstorm Yellow, Pure White, or Deep Black Pearl. Sandstorm Yellow cars have an interior that features body color upper door trims and dashpads, whereas the Pure White and Deep Black Pearl vehicles have black door and dashpad trim.

At launch, the Beetle Dune will be equipped with a 1.8-liter direct-injection and turbocharged TSI® four- cylinder engine, offering 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque, mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. The Dune coupe will go on sale in the first quarter of 2016, while the Dune Convertible will arrive in showrooms in the third quarter of the year.

About Volkswagen of America, Inc.

Founded in 1955, Volkswagen of America, Inc., an operating unit of Volkswagen Group of America, Inc., (VWoA) is headquartered in Herndon, Virginia. It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG, headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. VWoA's operations in the United States include research and development, parts and vehicle processing, parts distribution centers, sales, marketing and service offices, financial service centers, and its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Volkswagen Group is one of the world's largest producers of passenger cars and Europe's largest automaker. VWoA sells the Beetle, Beetle Convertible, CC, Eos, e-Golf, Golf, Golf GTI, Golf SportWagen, Golf R, Jetta, Passat, Tiguan, and Touareg vehicles through approximately 652 independent U.S. dealers.

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