Volkswagen revives iconic Beetle Dune

The Beetle is an icon. Volkswagen has revived the Beetle Baja Bug with an introduction of the Beetle Dune, the first crossover Beetle derivative in over 80 years ago. The production Beetle Dune was premiered at the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show. The Dune’s striking design is enhanced by its 18-inch wheels and the wider and lifted body all of which revive the characteristics of the legendary dune buggies.

Four-cylinder TSI engine. In South Africa, the Beetle Dune will only be available with 1.4 TSI engine with 110kW power output. It is mated to a 7-speed DSG transmission.

Retrospective. The year 2000 marked the beginning of a vision of a Beetle Dune. A concept car based on the New Beetle was designed for the Los Angeles Auto Show that year. It featured a lifted body painted bright yellow, and it had a transparent, removable roof section. Back then, sixteen years ago, Volkswagen said this about the New Beetle Dune concept car: “The fact that this off-road Beetle with its transparent and removable roof section has more of a nautical than rustic look sets it clearly apart from other products of this segment that is positioned precisely between cars for normal roads and off-road vehicles.”

As a concept car, the New Beetle Dune gave an outlook of what might be possible. At that time, there were no plans for a production car. But Volkswagen designers never forgot this car; its charisma – like that of the original Beetle – still impresses today. Thus, it was pure passion that drove Volkswagen designers to continue to develop these icons. And so it came to be. Under the leadership of Klaus Bischoff, head of design at Volkswagen, a team went to work at the end of 2013 to transfer the concept of the New Beetle Dune to the 21st century Beetle. Another concept car was revealed in January 2014 at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. This time the concept car transferred the concept to production.

The Beetle is different. It always has been. And this applies to the latest derivative in full measure. A car beyond all conventions. Charismatic and independent. The windshield rises relatively steeply, which is reminiscent of the world of classic cars. Then there is the instrument panel – the dashboard – which combines innovative technologies and user controls with painted surfaces and a glove compartment like the one in the air-cooled Beetle. It offers plenty of space and comfort for four persons. There are seats that can handle a ride over the race track and road trip.

And it has forms that are never an end to themselves, but always have a functional aspect as well. Such as the design of the instrument panel, which in fact serves as a visual bridge to the times of the first Beetle without being retro. The Dune team customised this interior even further. Three features are dominant in colour here. First, there is the dashboard painted in the standard Sandstorm Yellow Metallic colour with door shoulders. The dashboard and door shoulders can be changed to black. They are compatible with all three exterior paint finishes, Pure White, Reflex Silver and Sandstorm Yellow.