Volkswagen has decided to tap the heritage vein in time for the LA Auto Show in a bid to make the onlookers forget about the biggest business crisis in its 78-year history – though the 2016 Beetle Dune might only act as a mild excuse.
Never mind the NOx and CO2 issues faced by the parent company and let’s concentrate on the 2016 Beetle Dune that hopefully eschews any such problems to lend some peace of mind to the prospective customers. The model is not entirely unexpected as it was hinted at back in Detroit during the NAIAS earlier this year and now the production model will come with “Baja Bug” inspired tweaks and features. We’re treated to a more dynamic front end with honeycomb grille inserts and a faux aluminum skid plate, on the sides we can see the same polished aluminum used as side skirts and the wheel arches have been treated to crossover-inspired black wheel arch extensions and body side graphics. The end also receives a new design for the bumper, LED taillights and a sporty tailgate-mounted spoiler. 18-inch Canyon-style wheels fitted with all-season tires and the wider track and rising ride height complete the crossover-inspired picture. Buyers will also be able to pack the Lighting Package that comes with Bi-Xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights and LED license plate lighting.
The 2016 Beetle Dune Coupe will hit dealerships in the first part of next year and will be joined by the Convertible version later on. Under the hood sits the 1.8-liter TSI four-cylinder petrol mill churning out 170 bhp (126 kW) and 184 lb-ft (249 Nm) of torque and the engine has been mated exclusively to a six-speed automatic transmission. Inside the cabin there’s a leather-clad multi-function steering wheel and some sport seats with orange contrast stitching. The MIB II infotainment system fitted with a 6.3-inch display and complete with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility takes care of everyday needs, as does the optional tech pack that comes nicely fitted with Climatronic dual-zone automatic climate control, an upscale Fender audio system and the keyless entry system.