Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept

Volkswagen has sneakily announced plans to put the Beetle Dune Concept from the 2014 Detroit Motor Show into production in 2016. The confirmation didn't come in a press release as long as your arm (as is the norm among German automakers). Instead, it came as almost an aside during a promotional video for the high-riding Bug. And it isn't only going to be limited to the coupe like the concept either; a convertible version is also on the way.

The video doesn't go into any further details about the pumped-up Beetle. However, according to Car in the UK, its European launch is scheduled for early 2016, and the production version is getting the extra 2 inches of ground clearance and 1.1-inch wider track from the concept. That suggests the wider fenders and different front and rear fascia will make it to the road, too. Pricing is rumored to be about 2,800 euros on top of a standard Bug. That's roughly a $3,800 US premium over its more ground-bound cousins, but we suspect if it came Stateside, the premium would almost certainly be smaller.

The Beetle Dune's powertrain range is still a mystery, though. The show car had a 210-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox routing power to the front wheels. We would expect a fuller range of powerplants, and it'd be nice if all-wheel drive were offered to cash in on that extra ground clearance.

Of course, just because VW launches a new product for Europe, doesn't guarantee it for North America. Autoblog asked VW of America spokesperson Mark Gillies about the model's chances, and he toed the company line, saying: "We haven't announced any official plans for this vehicle."

Let's not rule getting the Beetle Dune out, though. After all, VW debuted the concept in Detroit, and there's a still-robust romance associated with all things dune buggy in our corner of the world. It would quite a tease to reveal it here and not sell it, no? Scroll down to watch the video – the announcement comes at about the 50-second mark.