Back in the day, the Volkswagen Beetle was known as the "people’s car". It was cheap, simple to maintain, and cute as a bug. That perception changed a lot with the New Beetle , which comes with its engine mounted at the front and a more sophisticated appeal. Of course, the current Beetle has yet to ditch its feminine image, but that could change if a recent rumor about Volkswagen ’s plans to put the 2014 Dune Concept in production proves to be accurate.
That’s right, folks, the muscular Beetle Dune Concept could become available at a dealership near you, and it might happen in early 2016. According to CAR, the Volkswagen board already approved the Beetle Dune at a meeting in May 2014, with the crossover-like vehicle to be launched as both a hatchback and a convertible . The news was confirmed by head of Beetle marketing Matthias Zauner, who also said the Dune will become an integral part of the future Beetle lineup and not just a special-edition model.
So what’s VW aiming to achieve with the Beetle Dune?
Click past the jump to read more about Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept.
The answer is pretty simple actually and it comes straight from Zauner. "Sportiness, proximity to SUVs, authenticity, lifestyle, history, leisure-orientation, emotion." Granted, the Dune Concept benefits from all of the above, making it the perfect marketing tool, especially in China and even the United States. Think of the convertible as a fancier Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet wrapped in the iconic Beetle name and all the glamor that comes with the new-generation model.
At the same time, it’s important to acknowledge the Beetle Dune won’t be more than just a perched up compact . Volkswagen has no plans to sell it with all-wheel-drive, leaving just the front wheels to push it around town. Forget about blasting through sandy desert dunes, the Dune moniker is more about fashion than go-anywhere capability. Of course, the production car won’t lack the powerful turbo engine and the DSG autobox showcased in the concept, but don’t count on the Dune for an Easter Jeep Safari hike.
Why It Matters
You’d really have to hate the Beetle to deny the cool factor highlighting the Dune Concept. Just like the Mini , the Beetle nameplate has grown into a lifestyle brand providing vehicles that meet a range of tastes and wallets. Like most lifestyle brands, the Beetle needs to expand at the top of the range to remain competitive, and the Beetle Dune comes in to do just that.
The original Beetle Dune Concept was unveiled back in 2000 as a vehicle that paid tribute to the Baja Bugs of the 1970s. 14 years later, Volkswagen rolled out an updated version of the Dune at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show . Finished in a metallic Arizona Orange coat to go with its name, the hatchback distinguishes itself from the regular Beetle thanks to its increased, crossover -like ride height and oversized wheels flanked by flared wheel arches.
The redesigned bumpers, the underbelly plates and the roof spoiler suggest the Dune is an authentic desert runner, but while it has the power and the speed, the engine only spins the front wheels. Speaking of power, the hood hides a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder unit that cranks out 210 horsepower and uses a six-speed DSG to send it to the ground. Expect the same engine to get dropped in the production car too, but Volkswagen is likely readying other four-bangers as well.