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by Tim Beissmann

The temperature may be hovering around freezing in much of the US, but the Volkswagen Beetle Dune concept will aim to bring a little summer to Detroit when it debuts at the city’s auto show next week.

Dubbed “the sportiest Beetle ever” by the German manufacturer, the Dune concept is a modern interpretation of the beach-bashing buggies based on the original Bug.

The Beetle Dune concept’s ground clearance is raised by about 50mm, off-road tyres are fitted, and metal scuff plates and plastic guards protect its lower panels to give it a ‘go-anywhere’ attitude, if not ability.

A pair of skis is bolted onto the tailgate to complete the active-lifestyle look.

Volkswagen-New-Beetle-Dune-Concept

The concept revisits an idea that was born with the previous-generation Bug-based New Beetle Dune concept (pictured above) that debuted in Los Angeles in 2000. While it admits the original show car was “not very realistic”, Volkswagen says the 2014 Beetle Dune concept is “a lot more feasible … especially with its interior and roof structure”.

The new Dune concept shares its running gear with the sporty Beetle R-Line, teaming the turbocharged 155kW/280Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine from the Golf GTI Mk6 with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, and also featuring multi-link rear suspension and the ‘XDS’ electronic differential lock.

The Volkswagen Beetle Dune concept will debut in Detroit on January 13.




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