When you think of dune buggies, you think of bugs -- VW Beetles, to be precise. So it's little surprise that the German carmaker has revived the name -- also seen previously on a concept at the 2000 LA show -- for this year's Detroit event.
Teased in a single sketch last week, the Beetle Dune boasts a 5cm suspension lift and off-road styling tweaks compared to the production Beetle coupe. The yellow and black 'Arizona' livery carries over to the interior trim, with yellow dash, black and yellow trim and sports-inspired materials that include seats with leather and breathable fabric upholstery.
The cabin gets an enlarged 7.7-inch touchscreen display, with the system including apps that deliver POI information -- including alerts if any of your friends are nearby -- extra gauges and a new dash-mounted grab handle for panicky front seat passengers.
It rides on 19-inch, five-spoke wheels and Volkswagen suggests there is the chance for some of the cues to reach production -- or at least, more of them than those of the 2000 concept. The carmaker says the 2014 show car is “is a lot more feasible ... potential for a new production version of the sportiest Beetle".
However any move from show to showroom shouldn't expect to stray too far from the bitumen, as despite the ride height and rugged looks, the Dune's 155kW 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder (from the limited-edition Beetle R-Line sold overseas) delivers drive via a six-speed DSG dual-clutch auto only to the front wheels, with no all-wheel drive to back up its cosmetic attitude.