The 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune will be offered as a coupe from the first quarter of next year, and the Dune Convertible is set to arrive in the third quarter of 2016. The Dune comes with new front and rear fascias, big black wheel arch extensions that flow into the bumpers, a higher ride height by 0.4 inch and a 0.6-inch wider track. The result takes as much advantage of the crossover/utility craze — think Subaru’s Outback versions of various models through the years — as it does the late-1960s/1970s Baja Bug movement.
There’s no talk of an all-wheel-drive version. The sole powertrain is a 170-hp, 184 lb-ft 1.8-liter turbocharged inline-four with a six-speed automatic transmission. It has 235/45 all-season tires on 18-inch Canyon aluminum alloy wheels.
Exterior trim changes include a large rear spoiler, LED taillamps, a new bumper design finished in matte black and aluminum, black stripes, and aluminum sideview mirrors. The rear diffuser doubles as a skidplate, in case you really want to take this one to the sand dunes.
The 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune’s three exclusive exterior colors are Sandstorm Yellow, Pure White and Deep Black Pearl. Interior of the yellow cars have body color upper door trim and dashpads, and the white and black cars have black doors and dashpad trim.
Driving in jeans
Unlike the original 1974 model, the 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Denim is a convertible only, with production limited to 2,000 cars. The interior has light blue denim-colored cloth seating surfaces with white piping and dark blue leatherette accents, and a light blue/silver dashpad and jeans-inspired seat pockets with small red Levi’s-style Beetle tabs. Exterior colors are Pure White and Stonewashed Blue, with the limited U.S. cars split evenly at 1,000 of each.
Described as a “value model” in the Beetle Convertible lineup, the Denim comes with VW’s new MIB II infotainment system and a 5.0-inch touchscreen display. The U.S. model comes with the same 1.8-liter turbo-four engine as in the Beetle Dune, though the car sits on 17-inch Heritage wheels. It hits U.S. dealerships early next year.