Volkswagen’s quirky Denim and Dune Beetles target hipsters and desert warriors

Volkswagen is revisiting a pair of concepts with two new production-ready, special-edition Beetles for the LA Auto Show.

First up is a tribute to the 1970s Beetle Jeans model called the Beetle Denim. Using the Volkswagen Beetle convertible as the starter, the automaker adds a Pure White or Stonewashed Blue exterior, dark-blue soft top with denim-like textured fabric, and a unique interior.

Designers overhauled the cabin to include a light blue and silver dash, denim-inspired cloth and leatherette seats, and jeans-style pockets with red Beetle tabs. The Beetle Denim also comes with the brand’s MIB II infotainment system with a 5.0-inch display, a rearview camera and AUX/USB/iPod/Bluetooth connectivity. Men in Black II is not pre-loaded on the system, apparently.

The only powertrain option will be a turbocharged 1.8-liter TSI four-cylinder engine making 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. That’s connected to a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Volkswagen has capped production at 2,000 units and is calling the 2016 Beetle Denim a “value model,” so we shouldn’t expect too much of a price premium.

VW Denim Beetle
Beetle Denim

Also debuting on the LA show floor will be the production version of the German automaker’s Beetle Dune Concept (as shown last year). Inspired by “Baja Bugs” that tear up sandy terrain, the Beetle Dune wears a unique front fascia with a honeycomb grille, aluminum skid plate, polished aluminum rocker panels, black wheel arches, a graphics package, new rear bumper, a spoiler, and LED taillights.

Keeping with the off-road theme, the 2016 Beetle Dune has a higher ride height than standard, wider track, and 18-inch Canyon-style wheels with all-season rubber. Should buyers want more dune-running goodies, Volkswagen will offer a Lighting Package with bi-xenon headlights, LED daytime running lights, and an LED license-plate holder.

Inside there’s a leather-wrapped steering wheel, sport seats with orange contrast stitching, an MIB II infotainment system with a 6.3-inch display, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Like the Beetle Denim, Volkswagen’s 1.8-liter turbocharged four-cylinder and six-speed automatic will provide motivation.

Both models will go on sale early next year and Volkswagen will offer a convertible version of the Beetle Dune soon after.

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