Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept Headed For Production In 2016

Remember the badass VW Dune Concept unveiled at the 2000 Los Angeles Auto Show NAIAS last year? The one with added ground clearance and the guts from the Beetle R-line? Well, it turns out that the uniquely-awesome Beetle has been confirmed for production and will arrive in U.S. showrooms early next year.

Even so, it seems Volkswagen isn’t too keen on hyping up its hopped-up Beetle just yet. That’s because the official announcement is buried in a press release issued by the automaker for the 2015 New York International Auto Show, with the news receiving a very brief mention. So, what do we know about the concept?

The Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept was unveiled  up at the NAIAS looking very production-ready. In fact, it even arrived with fuel economy figures of 23 MPG city and 29 MPG highway. If all the hardware stays the same, the production Dune will arrive in showrooms with VW’s ubiquitous turbocharged 2.0L TSI engine hooked up to a six-speed DSG transmission.  If the 2.0L is left untouched, the Dune should kick out 210 horses, while a standard XDS electronic differential helps ensure all those ponies get stuck to the ground.

We hope that the production version will carry over all the awesome off-road bits of the concept, such as larger fender flares, a more aggressive snout, beefier tires and a 2-inch hike in ground clearance. The concept also featured a strut-type front suspension and multilink rear suspension under its ruggedized body, which is 0.5-inches wider and 0.8-inches taller than that of a standard ‘Bug.

With all that, there’s one notable question: will the production version arrive with the FWD setup previewed in the concept? We’re hoping that VW makes AWD an option, but we’re not holding our breath.

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