The VW Beetle might have started life as low-cost transport for the masses, but its modern reinvention has been all about style. The latest addition to the stable is no different, taking inspiration from modified "Baja Bugs" to create the rugged-looking Beetle Dune.
It might look a bit tougher than the regular Beetle, but there haven't been any ground-breaking changes under the Dune's shell. Thanks to a different suspension system, the car has been jacked up by 1.16 cm (0.4 in) and it sits on a track 1.52 cm (0.6 in) wider than that of a standard Beetle.
For American buyers, power comes from a 1.8-liter petrol engine, with a claimed 127 kW (170 hp) and 249 Nm of torque hooked up to a six speed automatic transmission. Europeans have a bit more choice, with three petrol engines on offer with outputs ranging from 77 kW (105 hp) to 166 kW (222 hp). There are also two diesel engines being offered up to European buyers, one producing 81 kW (110 hp) and the other producing 110 kW (148 hp).
As well as the wider track and taller suspension, the Beetle Dune has been given some body add-ons to fit its tougher demeanor. Up front, there's a new bumper with a larger air intake and integrated skid plate, while the rear end is fitted with a rear spoiler and aluminum detailing that flows into the diffuser's integrated skid plate. The car sits on 18-inch wheels wrapped in 235/45 all-season tires.
VW is offering up the Beetle Dune in Yellow, White or Black. Whichever you choose, you'd better like it, because the interior trim is finished in the same color as the exterior. Other than the special colors, it's standard Beetle fare inside, with a 6.3-inch MiB II infotainment system that detects when your finger is nearby and changes the screen to make it easier for users to access important features.
The Beetle Dune will be available as a hatchback or a convertible, and is on show at the Los Angeles Auto Show, where Gizmag is on the ground covering all the action.