First seen as a concept at the Detroit Auto Show, Volkswagen has confirmed that the VW Beetle Dune is headed for production and will go on sale here in 2016. While offering few other specifics about the volume-build version of this neo-retro beach cruiser, the new Beetle Dune is expected to closely parallel the showcar's appearance and mechanical makeup. The automaker also verified that it will be available in both coupe and convertible forms.
Based on the current Beetle and finished in Arizona Metallic, the Dune Concept is a high-riding front-driver with unique exterior and interior cosmetics that reinforce its active-lifestyle persona. Boasting bolder front/rear fascias, two inches of added ground clearance, a wider track and sport-tuned suspension with 19-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 245/40 tires, the Dune Concept features a 210-horse/2.0-liter turbocharged TSI 4-cylinder engine backed with a 6-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Dune also features VW's traction-enhancing XDS electronic differential lock on the front axle. Bespoke lighting elements, a glass panoramic sunroof and a trick ski/sandboard carrier that integrates with its rear spoiler are key features of the design.
Inside, the Beetle Dune Concept features a color-key cabin with seats covered in Titan Black leather and Ceramique-colored Gobi breathable fabric inserts. A auxiliary gauge cluster shows pitch and roll angles while an upgraded infotainment system with a 7.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen is linked to VW's "Sideways" app that can supply route guidance as well as help locate friends who may be out cruising in the area.
No word yet as to exactly how much of the Dune Concept's distinctive bits will make it into the showroom. Another big question about the 2016 - or possibly 2017 - Volkswagen Beetle Dune concerns pricing. Depending on how it's packaged, this new model could run several thousand dollars more than a comparably equipped Beetle R-Line Turbo, which currently starts at $31,900.
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