VW Beetle Dune concept 2014 revealed in full




Volkswagen- As promised last week, Volkswagen has unwrapped a rugged new Beetle Dune concept at the 2014 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit. The 2014 VW Beetle Dune concept is a follow up to the 2000 VW Beetle Dune Concept. But where Volkswagen describes the earlier car as “science fiction”, this new version is said to be looking “much more realistically towards a production vehicle”… Please click the image above to read more about the VW Beetle Dune concept from the Detroit Motor Show 2014
Why all the fuss about a new version of a car that’s already on sale? Because the Dune takes latest Beetle in a different direction – arguably one that’s slightly more, uh, macho than current offerings. By fitting two-part wheel extensions (which mix shiny and matt black elements to create the illusion it is kind of hovering) and 19-inch wheels with chunky tyres and raising the Dune’s suspension 50mm, VW has created a Beetle that almost looks ready to off-road.
The Dune is very much one of those ‘lifestyle’ vehicles that simply looks like an off-roader, rather than actually being capable of tackling the scenery to any serious extent. While the raised ride height will help cover rougher ground, you’d better hope that ground isn’t too slippery, because like every other version of the latest Beetle the Dune is only front-wheel drive. Four by four is fantasy here
As if compensating for the off-road pretence, Volkswagen has, however, fitted the Dune with the Beetle’s range-topping 210hp 2.0-litre TSI turbo petrol engine. Combined with a six-speed DSG twin-clutch automatic gearbox, this is good enough for 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds and a top speed of 141mph
The performance isn’t really what’s important here, though – what VW has really gone to town on is the design. For something that looks remarkably similar at a glance to its predecessor, there are actually a large number of differences. Starting, believe it or not, with the bonnet, which is higher in the middle than the standard car. It has also got additional vents for the engine, complemented by the extra vents in the bespoke Dune front bumper. Naturally there is an additional underbody protection plate as well.
At the back there’s more underbody protection – artfully formed to function as an aerodynamically advantageous diffuser as well, complete with integrated exhaust pipes. But the really clever part is the spoiler. This big rear wing – vaguely reminiscent of the ‘tea tray’ you’d find on 1980s Porsche 911s – is actually a ski-rack, underlining the Dune’s lifestyle credentials once again. To store the skis you simply swivel the outer section apart and insert. The design is so neat that you can also still open the boot, even with the special Beetle Dune skis attached.
VW has also been a little more creative than usual with the Beetle Dune’s lights. All of them use LED technology – from the indicators to the fog lights. The front indicators are especially cunning, as they’re hidden in a chrome strip just 9mm tall
Not content with confining the “Arizona” yellow paint to the outside, VW has smothered it all over the Dune’s interior as well. In addition to a multitude of Dune logos, which also appear in strategic locations on the exterior bodywork, Volkswagen has blended retro detailing with modern technology. Starting with the retro, check out the grab handle that replaces the (also retro) upper glove box on the standard Beetle; this is a direct reference to the grab handle in the original.
As for the technology, that starts with the 7.7-inch infotainment display in the centre console. This uses an AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode) screen for greater clarity. It also includes a pitch and roll display, in homage to first Beetle Dune concept from 2000. VW has also developed something called the “Volkswagen Sideways” app, which “proactively” integrates points of interest into the on-board navigation system – spotting not just nearby restaurants, for example, but also whether your friends are there
 The app also considers the weather, with Volkswagen explaining it would avoid guiding you to an outdoor swimming pool in winter, for example. Elsewhere in the cabin you’ll find the dials are labelled in Arizona yellow, rather than the standard white. The seats are notable because they feature an unusual blend of materials, matching natural leather in Titan Black on the outer surfaces with a “very breathing-active” material called “Gobi” on the middle portions, finished in Ceramique
This is clearly much more than a flight of fancy for VW, with the firm saying that “if the Beetle Dune meets with approval by NAIAS visitors and the international media” it could soon be appearing in a city near you – including London. Which means Volkswagen is already preparing it for production, and UK sale. The firm is even hoping it will pick up a cult following, perhaps in the manner of those beach buggies based on the original. What the price will be is difficult to predict, but that custom bodywork won’t come for free, so expect the range-topping 2.0-litre turbo petrol – like this one – to cost in excess of £25,000.
Please keep clicking to see more pictures of the VW Beetle Dune concept, which debuted at the Detroit Motor Show 2014…



 
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