Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept: A New Baja Bug?

Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept[UPDATE: For the full scoop on the VW Beetle Dune Concept, visit our post-reveal coverage here.]

Next week in Detroit at the North American International Auto Show, VW is unveiling the Volkswagen Beetle Dune concept.  The Beetle Dune is basically a reinterpretation of the old-school VW Baja Bugs but based on the 2014 Volkswagen R-Line Beetle.


The VW Beetle Dune concept get the same suspension, drive line and powerplant as the R-Line Beetle.  That means a 210 horse turbocharged TSI inline 4-cylinder powering just the front wheels, a six-speed DSG dual-clutch trans, strut-type front and multi-link rear suspension and the XDS electronic differential lock.


So that means the Volkswagen Beetle Dune concept is just a Beetle R-Line in fancy dress.  When V-Dub reveals the car officially in Detroit, it may very well be great, but, something about it just doesn’t feel right.  The old Baja Bugs were about irreverence, turning a Beetle into something the VW never intended or expected and riding roughshod over pretty much anything you could think of.


The Volkswagen Beetle Dune concept is pretty much the opposite.  In trying to capture the original off-road, noisy and high(ish) performance shenanigans of a Baja Bug, VW is mission the spirit channeled into each home-made Baja Bug.  This is just a preconception.  I may be waaaaaay off base.  I don’t know.


But, we’ll have to wait to see to actual details of the Volkswagen Beetle Dune concept until after its Detroit debut.  Until then, take a look at the render above, read the press release below and make your own preconceptions.

Press Release

Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept Press Release


  • Beetle Dune concept is a potential version of the design icon
  • Customized design and ski rack at the rear

Wolfsburg / Detroit, January 2014 – The Beetle is a phenomenon, regardless of where it shows up in the world: People are always happy to see this car, whether it’s the coupe or the Convertible. With the world premiere of the Beetle Dune at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Volkswagen is giving the public the chance to see a Beetle with a cool and rugged offroad look.

The Dune concept shows the potential for a new production version of the sportiest Beetle ever. The body was raised by two inches and the designers bolted a pair of skis to the roof to show the vehicle’s go-anywhere intentions. Its name, raised ground clearance, and all-terrain look hark back to the VW Bugs that conquered beaches and dunes in times past. In the summer, simply swap the skis for a sandboard.

The Dune revisits an idea that was born with the New Beetle Dune concept, presented in Los Angeles in 2000. While the concept car shown in California was not very realistic, especially with its interior and roof structure, the 2014 Dune Concept is a lot more feasible.

The Dune follows the production R-Line Beetle in its running gear. The 210-horsepower turbocharged TSI engine, together with a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, will handle the trip to whatever destination you choose. And just like the R-Line, the Dune puts its power to the ground via the front wheels and a strut-type front and multilink rear suspension, with the XDS electronic differential lock providing further traction.


Author: Nick Glasnovich

Founder & Executive Editor of

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