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VW to unveil Beetle Dune concept at Detroit Auto Show

Thu, 09 Jan 2014 00:00:00 -0800

The jury is out as to whether Volkswagen's Beetle Dune concept is more Frank Herbert or Bruce Meyers. Equipped with all mod cons, it’s a far cry from the simple, tough desert-race-inspired Bugs that popped up like aggro sandworms during the 1970s. On the other hand, it's still got four gasoline-burning cylinders and two-wheel drive. You can judge for yourself when VW pulls the wraps off at next week's Detroit Auto Show.

It’s also rumored that Wolfsburg is eyeing it for production. Unlike 2000’s AWD Beetle Dune concept, the ’14 version is more jacked-up Beetle Turbo than off-road Golf R. Featuring a 210-hp 2.0L turbocharged I4 putting power to sand via the front wheels, the Dune’s more about appearance than go-anywhere ability. The transmission’s a six-speed DSG unit. Despite the lack of AWD, VW does make one sop to traction in the form of the XDS electronically-locking differential.

We’re not exactly sure who’d buy the Dune if it goes into production (likely under the moniker "CrossBeetle"), but we do have a soft spot for the current iteration of the Beetle, and who’s to condemn a company for adding a bit more in the way of irreverent spice to its products?

By Davey G. Johnson