VW Beetle Dune Concept

With its small size and rear-engine layout, the original Volkswagen Beetle was a common donor for dune buggy conversions. In the same vein as the 2000 VW New Beetle Dune Concept, VW is once again looking at the idea of a more rugged, off-road version of the Beetle with this just-confirmed Beetle Dune Concept that will make its debut next week at the Detroit Auto Show.

Rendered in a single teaser image shown above (click to enlarge), this latest jacked-up Beetle would appear to have all the makings of a pure concept vehicle, but the press release sent out with the image leaves plenty of interpretation for this concept – or a similar vehicle – going into production. The press release, which is posted below, indicates that there is "potential" for production and the design of this concept is "more feasible" than the earlier Dune Concept from 2000.

The styling of the Beetle Dune Concept will match the all-terrain spirit of the car with a different front fascia and rocker panels, a two-inch lift and bigger, meatier tires providing additional traction. Although this concept is based on the Beetle R-Line with its front-wheel-drive layout and turbocharged engine, it might be possible for VW to stuff the all-wheel-drive underpinnings of a Tiguan underneath this Beetle to make it even better in off-road conditions, though we certainly wouldn't bet on it.
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VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE DUNE CONCEPT TO DEBUT AT NAIAS

-Beetle Dune concept is a potential version of the design icon
-Customized design and ski rack at the rear

Wolfsburg / Detroit, January 2014 – The Beetle is a phenomenon, regardless of where it shows up in the world: People are always happy to see this car, whether it's the coupe or the Convertible. With the world premiere of the Beetle Dune at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Volkswagen is giving the public the chance to see a Beetle with a cool and rugged offroad look.

The Dune concept shows the potential for a new production version of the sportiest Beetle ever. The body was raised by two inches and the designers bolted a pair of skis to the roof to show the vehicle's go-anywhere intentions. Its name, raised ground clearance, and all-terrain look hark back to the VW Bugs that conquered beaches and dunes in times past. In the summer, simply swap the skis for a sandboard.

The Dune revisits an idea that was born with the New Beetle Dune concept, presented in Los Angeles in 2000. While the concept car shown in California was not very realistic, especially with its interior and roof structure, the 2014 Dune Concept is a lot more feasible.

The Dune follows the production R-Line Beetle in its running gear. The 210-horsepower turbocharged TSI engine, together with a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, will handle the trip to whatever destination you choose. And just like the R-Line, the Dune puts its power to the ground via the front wheels and a strut-type front and multilink rear suspension, with the XDS electronic differential lock providing further traction.