VW harkens back to the days of Dune Buggies

Beetles were fixtures on California beaches of the ’60s and ’70s

Published: March 31, 2016, 11:30 AM
Updated: November 21, 2021, 3:28 PM

Volkswagen Beetle Dune

One of the original customized cars in the history of the automobile is getting the factory treatment with the introduction of an off-road inspired Volkswagen Beetle called Dune.

Beetles were one of the fixtures of the California beach scene of the ’60s and ’70s, especially when they became popular for their ready and relatively cheap conversions to dune buggies, affectionately called Baja Bugs. Now the factory is introducing the Beetle Dune, with a raised floor and cosmetic additions (such as wheel arch extensions, running-board like mouldings along the lower body sides and skid plates front and side) to put forth a rugged off-road presence.

The Beetle Dune was shown at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit as a concept, which was derived from a New Beetle Dune concept debuting at the 2000 Los Angeles Auto Show.

The production car has a ride height that has be raised by 10 mm, a widened track and is fitted with 18-inch Canyon alloy wheels. Dune script runs along the bottom of the doors, while the rear features a large spoiler at the base of the window, silver diffuser below the bumper and new look LED taillights.

The 2016 Beetle Dune will be available in a choice of exterior colours — Sandstone Yellow Metallic, Deep Black Pearl and Oryx White Pearl — all featuring black leather-trimmed interior with black/grey 2-tone seats with Curry Yellow stitching. Deliveries are due to begin in June in the UK, and it’s due in Canada shortly thereafter.

There are two versions — a coupe and convertible — though Canada will only get the coupe, and it’s available in limited quantities. Price starts at $26,990. Built off the Comfortline trim, it sits atop the model range and gets power from the 170-hp 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine (linked to either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed automatic with Tiptronic).

Among its standard technology features are the Composition Media system which includes a 6.33-inch touch-screen, Bluetooth telephone connection, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility, DAB digital radio receiver, dash-mounted single CD player, MDI (Multi Device Interface) via USB connection, and SMS messaging functionality and eight speakers.

Also standard are auto dimming rear-view mirror, panoramic sunroof, automatic headlights, rain sensing wipers, ultrasonic parking sensors front and rear, keyless access with push-button start, rearview camera, and tire pressure monitoring.