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Detroit 2014: Volkswagen Beetle Dune concept

2014 Volkswagen Beetle Dune concept

Volkswagen has rocked up to Detroit with this Beetle Dune thingy. Officially it’s a concept model, but Volkswagen is making plenty of noises stating if the demand is there they will build it.

“Everything about this car is feasible—practically a production vehicle,” Volkswagen’s press release states.

So what do you get that makes it different from your garden variety Beetle? Most obviously there’s a bunch of model-specific cosmetic enhancements, inside and out. But the Dune has been raised by 50mm to give it that crucial urban clearance. And, check this out, it has ski racks on the back window. Yes, ski racks! You know for the snow. Where the roads are slippery and you often need to fit chains, unless you have an all-wheel drive car.

That’s probably the exact reason why the Dune concept is front-wheel drive. Hang on, that’s not right is it? Why didn’t they chuck in a 4 motion system? Cheapskates!

They’ve managed to put a decent engine in the car; a 155kW 2.0 litre turbo. So why leave it front-wheel drive? Even with the supposed weaknesses of the Haldex-sourced systems Volkswagen uses it would still add to the Dune’s abilities.

Interestingly, the front and rear track has been widened by 29mm and that should offer improved road holding, but we wonder if that would be one of the features lost if the Dune does become a series production model.

We actually don’t mind the look and basic idea behind the Dune concept, it looks fun. We just wish it had a bit more substance.