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Volkswagen Beetle Dune concept surfs into Detroit


January 13, 2014

The 2014 Volkswagen Beetle Dune concept at NAIAS

The 2014 Volkswagen Beetle Dune concept at NAIAS

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Last week, Volkswagen released a sketch of its 2014 Beetle Dune concept, which it promised to show "in the flesh" at the North American International Auto Show. Well, that event is now in progress, and we did indeed spot the car on the tradeshow floor in Detroit. Here are some more details on VW's one-off dune buggy version of the Beetle.

The "Arizona"-colored front wheel drive Dune is based on the existing Beetle R-Line, featuring that model's 210-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder TSI engine, six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, XDS electronic differential lock, strut-type front and multilink rear suspension. It's half an inch (12 mm) longer, however, with custom wheel housings increasing its girth by a total of 2.2 inches (5.6 cm). Its body is also almost an inch taller, plus that body has been raised by 2 inches (5 cm).

It additionally features 19-inch spoked aluminum wheels, a chrome-plated underbody skidplate, and side trim strips that are described as being "reminiscent of the original Beetle’s running boards." The custom hood has a raised center section flanked by air vents, beneath which is a central air intake and ring-shaped LED fog lights/turn indicators.

In the rear, skis can be carried on the trunk lid by swiveling the outer portions of the spoiler out of the way, placing the skis beneath those portions, then swiveling them back to hold the skis in place. The tops of the skis are slid through a receptacle in the roof spoiler, and secured with a built-in belt. The trunk can still be opened with the skis on it.

Some of the highlights of the interior include a panoramic tilt/slide sunroof, black leather and Gobi sport fabric upholstery, aluminum dash accents, and a high-resolution 7.7-inch AMOLED touchscreen, which serves as the interface for the infotainment system.

Although there has been no announcement regarding possible production of the Dune, as noted in our previous article, it is described as looking "production ready."

Source: Volkswagen

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Swing...and a miss

VWs made good dune buggies because the motor was in the back over the drive wheels - like a dune buggy - where the weight transfer rearwards helped adhesion with large tyres.


The advantages of the beetle as a buggy were that it was cheap, lightweight, had a frame on chassis design that could be separated, had a reliable air cooled engine that any damn fool with a pair of plyers could fix, and rear wheel drive with a rear engine for greater traction.

This wouldn't be cheap, wouldn't be lightweight, has a unibody design, a liquid cooled fuel injected engine, front wheel drive and a front engine. IOW, nothing in common except that little VW logo.

Keith Lamb

No hybrid, no electric? Oh look it's a dinosaur!

Jerry Peavy

This car seems to illustrate the problem with 'retro' models that are supposed to hark back to previous times- very limited development on the theme is possible without throwing out the baby with the bathwater, or doing what BMW have done with their MINI - spinning out ever more pointless variants that have less and less affinity with the value-for-money car that they are pretending to invoke the spirit of, rather than coming up with something genuinely original.

A triumph of marketing over engineering.


VW You have totally missed the point.

Richard Unger

Total Poser.

Bruce H. Anderson

If you mix the vw concept with the audi concept, then that would be a proper 4wd, why not?


I'll buy one!!!!!!!!!! You negative nancies can hop in your prius.


Ease up, guys. This is a concept car. Like most concepts, it was never intended for production, just a pie in the sky design exercise. It's not going to be be built, marketed or sold. Its sole purpose is to get some buzz for VW.

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