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.

Cars

Lyft and Aptiv’s self-driving car program has come a long way (but not far enough)

Many companies talk about self-driving cars, but Lyft and Aptiv are already using a fleet of them to transport paying customers in Las Vegas. Hop in for a close look at the tech of autonomous cars, and the challenges they face.
Gaming

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC
Cars

This Chevy Silverado pickup truck is made from more than 300,000 Lego bricks

To promote The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Lego and Chevrolet teamed up on a life-size replica of the automaker's Silverado pickup truck made from more than 300,000 plastic bricks.
Smart Home

GHSP makes a (back)splash with its touchscreen concept kitchen

One of the coolest concept kitchens from CES 2019 came from GHSP. It created a backsplash entirely made of touchscreens. That means the control panel for your kitchen is accessible no matter where you are.
Cars

Muscle cars, trucks, and EVs roared into the subdued 2019 Detroit Auto Show

The 2019 Detroit Auto Show was the quietest edition of the event in recent memory, but that doesn't mean nothing significant happened inside the Cobo Center. Here are the new cars and concepts we saw at the show.
Emerging Tech

Too buzzed to drive? Don’t worry — this autonomous car-bar will drive to you

It might just be the best or worst idea that we've ever heard: A self-driving robot bartender you can summon with an app, which promises to mix you the perfect drink wherever you happen to be.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Michigan OKs digital license plates with Rplate’s connected car platform

The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan's Department of State to pass the bill.
Cars

Prices for using Tesla Supercharging just skyrocketed

Tesla is updating their Supercharging pricing based on local electricity rates and customer demand, which has lead to an increase in charging costs by as much as 33 percent in some regions.
Cars

Can electric motors finally make three-wheeled cars great?

Every few years, someone tries to sell a three-wheeled vehicle to Americans. Historically, it hasn’t gone very well. We’ve got our suspicions about why people don’t buy trikes, and they boil down to this: a trike is just not a real…
Outdoors

Is Uber planning to put its self-driving tech into bikes and scooters?

Uber reportedly has its eye on building autonomous electric bikes and scooters that ride to a user when summoned by an app. The technology could also be used to make its two-wheelers safer with obstacle avoidance systems.
Cars

Someone just paid supercar money for the very first 2020 Toyota Supra

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

Lincoln’s stately, limited-edition flagship sedan sells out in a month

The 1961 Lincoln Continental became a design icon thanks to center-opening "coach doors" (also known as "suicide doors"). Lincoln is bringing those doors back for a special edition of the 2019 Continental.
Cars

Volkswagen is planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car will head to the Nürburgring for a lap-record attempt. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car with the I.D. R.