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9 January 2014

Volkswagen first explored the idea of a Dune AWD concept back in 2000 at the Los Angeles Auto Show with a concept built on the New Beetle. That concept was powered by a five-cylinder engine and had AWD. This new version keeps the current (and very good) 2.0T with 210hp but doesn’t have AWD. Err… yeah.

Volkswagen is exploring different derivatives of the Beetle lineup and with the newest Beetle looking a whole lot more butch than the old New Beetle, we expect this concept to look a lot more aggressive this time around. The teaser rendering would seem to indicate this should be a cool looking car. However it strikes us a bit odd that something purporting to be an AWD lifestyle vehicle wouldn’t actually have AWD. Maybe VW should just send the car to us and APR and we’ll give their concept a proper drivetrain like the Super Beetle. We kid. Sorta…

We’ll have real photos of the concept in a few days. Meanwhile the VW press release follows below…

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Volkswagen Press Release…

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.

BEETLE DUNE EXT 960x468

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 sand board.

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.

beetle dune interior 960x519

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.

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