Beetle Dune Concept Preview Details:

  • All-terrain design study of Volkswagen's iconic compact car
  • Equipped with two-inch lift, 19-inch wheels, turbo power & electronic XDS diff lock
  • Practically production ready
  • Bears resemblance to ec's Surf Beetle from 2012

Among the barrage of concepts and production vehicles being unveiled in Detroit next week for the 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) will be the Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept, an all-terrain imagining of the iconic compact in a half shell. Take a second to drink that in.

Exactly how is the Beetle Dune "all terrain," you may be asking. Well, for starters it has nearly a two-inch lift, making more clearance for greater suspension travel. Tucked up in each fender well are 19-inch rims and tires, and while the car is still FWD and not necessarily rocking anything special in the power department, it does retain its electronic XDS differential lock to even out power delivery. Designers also outfitted the concept with a pair of skis buckled to the back of the Beetle - yeah, we don't understand that one either.

The idea of an off-road Beetle is nothing new; back in 2000, VW rolled out the New Beetle Dune Concept in Los Angeles. That car was more fiction than science, though; while we only have illustrations at this point, we're told the Dune of 2014 is looking much more realistically towards a production vehicle. Indeed, everything about this new concept is practically production ready.

Then there's the Surf Beetle european car did for the 2012 SEMA Show, which is where we think VW did most of its biting for the Dune. Rocking a two-liter turbo mill, DSG gearbox and 19-inch wheels in common, the Surf Bug was all about tackling adventures in the great outdoors - just like the Dune.

We're eager to see this thing in the flesh - we'll have pics of the Beetle Dune Concept from the NAIAS and from VW next week!

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