May 25, 2024

DUNE BUG Anyone? – 2018 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible Dune!


I admit that I am a sucker for convertibles ever since I participated and won the internal design competition for the Volvo 480 Cabriolet, the one that was supposed to have been shown at the 1987 Amsterdam Motor Show, that there were a lot of press releases about already, but was withdrawn by Volvo Sweden politics. It was shown a couple of years later in a toned down version of my design, but never made it to production. I know certain other person claims to have designed that and most other Volvo’s from the Volvo Car BV at the time, but that’s the sign of a true LOOSER! LOL

Enough of that. This VW Beetle Convertible DUNE was awesome!! I actually had it for a 2 week stint and even took it on a drive all the way North to Portland, Oregon, very close to the Washington State border, and it did it all very very well indeed. The fuel consumption was just under 30 mpg. I am obsessively watching that since the recent spate of fuel efficient vehicles, and this was no disappointment. In fact, I was please to find that the fuel consumption increased only slightly when driving with the top down, even at freeway use. Conventional wisdom taught me that the fuel consumption would be totally off the charts, but it was not at all. It dropped by 0.2 compared to with the top on. Well then.. No excuses..

For people that do no know this, the drive from Southern California to Portland, OR, is about 1100 miles, and according to Google about 16 hours drive time. That is a long drive, and I basically did both up and down in 1 go each, of course with some small breaks, but no overnight break. That among others meant that I would get tired, but I’ve found out that as you get tired, if you drop the roof and drive on all the tiredness disappears really immediately. Especially driving through such lovely nature as in Northern California and Oregon, it is just awe inspiring.

Just south of Portland I stayed in a little town on Lake Oswego. Driving around the neighborhood there, this Beetle Convertible was right at home among the rich and spoiled. It blended in nicely, I think.

Practially speaking there was not a lot of luggage space left in the Beetle Convertible, logically, so I opted to leave the convertible hood at home, stuff the trunk so I didn’t have anything in the main seating area which could flap in the wind and possibly blow out. That was it worked out just perfectly. I attended the RoadMap 11 conference at the Oregon Convention center, and could fit all the things I needed easily in the trunk. Even my business cards. It was packed there, but it fitted.

Compared to the normal Beetle, the upgrades to the Dune version, in the front bumper area, the color of course, the interior trim and the treatment at the rear, all make it clearly stand out from the other versions, so much so that I was approached a few times about it, people stating they had never seen this version and that it looked really well done. I think that best sums it up. It is really well done. A car that is a joy to drive, even on looooong drives, and that I would even love to drive when I wouldn’t live in sunny SoCal, since any ray of sunshine you can get is good for you!

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