Volkswagen has made good on its promise to introduce a production version of the VW Beetle Dune concept that debuted at last year's Detroit auto show. The 2016 Volkswagen Beetle Dune is a separate trim level for the Beetle, and hews closely to the visual punch of the concept.

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Inspired by Beetle-based dune buggies from back in the day, the VW Beetle Dune offers up several features to make it look more rugged and aggressive, although it's important to note that this is still a front-wheel drive car, and not meant for off-roading. Still, it's undeniably sharp looking, especially in the eye catching signature Sandstorm Yellow paint (it's also available in white and black). The bright yellow-gold metallic color covers not just the exterior, but also the dash panel and door tops. 

Turbo power

Other exterior features include special 18-inch wheels with wider tires, a ride height that's 0.4 inches higher than a standard Beetle, and flared fenders that add 0.6 inches to the width. The fender flares wrap down under the bumpers, which feature a unique grille opening and fog lights. There are LED taillights and a big rear wing in the back, and in case it wasn't obvious enough to passersby, a huge "DUNE" graphic adorns both doors. Under the hood is fairly standard-issue VW Beetle. The 1.8-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder is standard, with a 6-speed automatic transmission. 

Inside, the 2016 Beetle Dune benefits from upgrades finding their way into many VW models this year. A USB port is standard, along with Bluetooth connectivity. A 6.3-inch color touch screen incorporates gesture controls -- swiping and pinch-zooming -- as well as a backup camera. Parking sensors are also part of the standard equipment list. Options include a Technology Package that adds keyless entry with push-button start, dual-zone climate control, a Fender audio system and a sunroof. 

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Volkswagen hasn't announced pricing for the new 2016 Beetle Dune package, but we expect it to come in somewhere near the top of the standard Beetle range, but less than the Beetle R-Line. Look for the coupe to go on sale in spring next year, with the convertible joining it by fall.

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