Volkswagen will launch a production version of the Beetle Dune, CAR magazine has learned. The news means that a VW Beetle Dune very like the concept car you see here will be in showrooms in early 2016.
The VW board approved the Beetle Dune at a meeting in May 2014, CAR understands. It's a jacked-up, pimped version of the Beetle hatch, raised by 50mm and sitting on a wider, 29mm stretched track.
The production Dune will be priced at around €2800 above the regular Beetle hatchback, according to our sources in Wolfsburg. That points to a premium of around £2300.
In the UK, the VW Beetle hatch starts at £15,835 for a 1.2 TSI. It is not yet confirmed which engines will be bound for the Dune version, but we'd predict it'll be the toppier engines at launch. The Dune concept car pictured uses the 210bhp 2.0-litre turbo.
VW Beetle Dune: on sale in 2016
Volkswagen plans to offer the Beetle Dune as both a hatchback and a convertible, according to Matthias Zauner, the man in charge of Beetle marketing.
He told CAR why VW was planning to add a Dune version to the Beetle range. 'Sportiness, proximity to SUVs, authenticity, lifestyle, history, leisure-orientation, emotion...
'The difference between the Dune and the base Beetle is almost exclusively visual. But the more self-assured stance, the redesigned front and rear ends as well as the inspiring crossover character make this version quite special. We believe in fact that the Dune - which will be offered as coupé and cabriolet - is going to be an integral part of the future Beetle line-up.'
The Beetle: a Dune not a Cross
Volkswagen is badging this pimped Beetle as a Dune, because this model is more about bling and street creed than go-anywhere ruggedness. The latter is reserved for VW's Cross-badged models, but the Dune is two-wheel drive only.
The original VW Beetle Dune concept car matched the 2.0-litre turbo to a six-speed DSG auto, and is capable of 0-62mph in 7.3sec.
While the front-wheel drive VW Beetle Dune will likely do well in image-conscious markets like North America and China, it is in essence merely an exercise in brand cosmetics. And we'll see more Beetle derivatives to come - Wolfsburg is plotting a whole family of Bug spin-offs...