The Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept, which was first unveiled at 2014’s Detroit Auto Show, is ready to become more than just a concept. Volkswagen has just announced plans for the Beetle Dune to become a reality, with the car getting a tentative launch date of early 2016. With a hybrid engine and several new design features, the Dune looks to be something new for Volkswagen, who has tweaked its iconic Beetle a little bit to make this car stand out.
The car that will be released is actually a bit different from the 2014 prototype, which did not feature an electric component at all, however, the forthcoming Beetle Dune is a result of changed thinking and improvements since that time. Volkswagen hopes that this car will find an interested demographic somewhere between the Jetta and a traditional Beetle, as the Dune offers a little more oomph than the standard “Bug” while still maintaining its fun, classic shape for the most part.
The Volkswagen Beetle Dune will use the same hybrid powertrain as recent Jetta models, with an EA211 1.4-liter TSI turbo four combined with a 27-hp electric motor. The car will also feature a 60-cell, 1.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack; and Volkswagen’s seven-speed DSG automatic gearbox. This engine will serve to give the Dune 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque.
With extra ground clearance, slightly more width, and a spoiler, the Dune will change the look of a traditional Beetle a little bit, but one will still be able to distinguish the car, thanks to its classic bumpers and overall shape. The car may look funky to some, but there is something undeniably retro and cool about the design and color scheme here.
With 40 miles per gallon city and 45 highway, the Volkswagen Beetle Dune will be a capable, fuel-saving hybrid that should appeal to a sizable market, with an affordable MSRP of approximately $28,000. This car will provide a nice, stylized alternative to the traditional Beetle, for drivers who want a little more performance without sacrificing the timeless look of one of the world’s most famous, recognizable vehicles.
Look for the Volkswagen Beetle Dune to hit dealerships in early 2016, and for more upgrades and features to follow thereafter.