Volkswagen’s Beetle Dune concept was first shown at the 2000 Los Angeles Motor Show and now, 16 years later, it has made it to production and is available in South Africa.
If you’re old enough, you will remember the beach buggy – based on a standard original Beetle, but equipped with a raised ride height, chunky tyres to tackle off-road tracks and, hopefully, a rollover hoop... Volkswagen has evoked the memory of the memorable buggy with the introduction of the Beetle Dune, which features a raised body that’s wider than that of the standard Beetle, and comes fitted with 18-inch Canyon alloy wheels.
The Beetle Dune is only offered with a 1.4 TSI engine that produces 110 kW and 250 Nm of torque and is mated with a 7-speed DSG transmission.
Also read: Volkswagen Beetle Refreshed for 2017
Key design features
The Beetle Dune is 7 mm wider at the front and 6 mm wider at the rear with an increased ride height (by 14 mm) compared with the standard Beetle. It’s equipped with new front and rear bumpers and diffusers while the round headlights are still a prominent feature. There’s a large central air intake up front with a black honeycomb screen set within a Reflex Silver frame. Meanwhile, foglights and indicators are set in matt black inserts.
The newcomer's profile is characterised by rugged-looking black wheel arch cladding and side mouldings, while the window trims are finished in anodised aluminium and exterior mirrors are in Reflex Silver. Black double stripes are seen above the side panels with a ‘DUNE’ signature.
Towards the rear, you will notice a large rear spoiler and new LED taillights. The rear spoiler is painted in gloss black on the top section while the bottom is painted in body colour. The rear diffuser is also finished in Reflex Silver.
Buyers have the choice of three colours for the Beetle Dune, including Pure White, Reflex Silver or the new Sandstorm Yellow (as shown here). An optional black painted roof is also available.
The Volkswagen Beetle Dune can be fitted with a rather epic Fender sound system as an option.
Three design elements define the interior of the Beetle Dune. The dashboard is painted in Sandstorm Yellow Metallic as standard along with the window ledges, which can be changed to black if you so choose. Secondly, the dial surrounds and main instruments are also finished in Sandstorm Yellow and lastly, contrasting stitching in Yellow Curry is found on the rear seats and front sport seats as well as on centre armrest, handbrake lever, gear lever and floor mats. The front seats also feature "DUNE" logos.
Equipment-wise, the Dune is fitted with Volkswagen’s Composition Colour infotainment system that incorporates a Radio/CD player (with 8 speakers) and a 5-inch touchscreen. The system is MP3, Bluetooth compatible and an SD card slot, USB and auxiliary ports are also included. The 6.5-inch Composition Media and Discover Media system with navigation is offered as an option and can be had in conjunction with a Fender sound system.
The Fender system includes three adjustable ambient lighting colours (white, red, blue), lighting around the door speakers, four tweeters, front and rear woofers as well as a bass box subwoofer located in the boot. The system is powered by a 10-channel amplifier with a power output of 400W.
Other interior upgrades include automatic headlight activation, manual lumbar support (front), illuminated make-up mirrors, cruise control, automatic dimming rear-view mirror, rain sensing windshield wipers, front and rear park distance control and Hill Hold Assist. Optional features include sport seats with Vienna leather in Titanium Black and Bi-Xenon headlights with separate LED daytime running lights.
Volkswagen Beetle price in South Africa
1.2 TSI 77kW Design Manual R312 400
1.4 TSI 110kW Sport Manual R383 600
1.4 TSI 110kW Sport DSG R399 600
1.4 TSI 110kW Dune DSG R416 700
The new Beetle comes standard with a 5-year/60 000 km Automotion Maintenance Plan, 3-year/120 000km warranty and a 12-year anti-corrosion warranty. Service Intervals are at 15 000km.