Volkswagen Goes Baja with 2016 Beetle Dune
Back in early 2014, Volkswagen pulled the veil off its Beetle Dune—a concept car tribute to the legendary Baja Bug and its rather odd lineage as an off-road superstar. The concept was eye-catching, quirky, and yet surprisingly Volkswagen claimed it would soon be on sale. Well, they weren’t kidding. This is the end result, the 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune. In its path to production the formula is admittedly a bit more “Beetle” than “Baja,” nevertheless come 2016 the Beetle Dune will arrive in U.S. showrooms, both in coupe and convertible variants. Just don’t expect to run the Baja 1000 in one…it’s cool, but it's not that kind of car. RELATED: Check Out the Original Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept Car
At its core, it’s expectedly still a modern Beetle. Underneath the hood lies Volkswagen’s peppy 1.8-liter turbocharged gas four-cylinder, which churns 170 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque through a six-speed automatic transmission. That said, the Beetle Dune has enjoyed around half an inch of increased ground clearance and now boasts a more aggressive track, increased by 0.6 inches.
That slight lift is accented by a more rugged appearance. Volkswagen says the bumpers, black fender flares, and 18-inch Canyon alloy wheels are all new, as are the calling-card “DUNE” graphics scrawled across its flanks. There’ll be no mistaking this car for an R-Line. Colors—at least initially—will be restricted to Sandstorm Yellow, Pure White, and Deep Black Pearl.
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Inside, the Beetle Dune offers up orange stitched sport seats, Apple Carplay and Android Auto infotainment, rearview cameras, and the option of dual-zone climate control. If you opt for a Dune in Sandstorm Yellow, you’ll receive a body-colored dash and upper door trim (black panels are standard on the other two).
Volkswagen has yet to confirm a manual transmission version, however that gear handle pictured above looks suspiciously like a six-speed row-it-yourself unit. Hmm...
Like the Dunes? Volkswagen hasn’t released pricing yet but says the coupe will be the first to arrive in U.S. showrooms in early 2016, while the convertible will arrive in the second half of the year.
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