When the Volkswagen Beetle Dune concept was shown at the 2014 Detroit Motor Show, many commentators were left wondering why anyone would want such a thing.
But a Beetle with SUV pretensions is not without precedent. Over the years, the Beetle has done literally everything a car can do, including off-roading. Both the Beetle-based Manx beach buggy and desert racing-inspired Baja Bug have become icons in their own right.
Clearly the idea of a pseudo-SUV version of the second-generation nu-wave Beetle appealed to buyers, for Volkswagen has revealed the production Beetle Dune at the LA Motor Show.
The styling has been suitably toughened up. At the front, a new bumper incorporates a large intake low down and another just below the bonnet line; a silver plastic brush guard and separate fog lights and indicators.
Down the sides are black plastic cladding around the edges and brush guards under the sills. And there’s another brush guard under the back bumper, along with a spoiler and a unique graphic in the LED lights.
The suspension is raised 10mm, and the Dune rolls on 18in wheels. Not that they do anything to improve off-road ability, as the car remains front-wheel-drive only.
Inside, the interior is unchanged, apart from body colour stitching and piping.
The Volkswagen Beetle Dune is expected to reach the UK early in 2016. It will be available in coupe and cabriolet forms, with the full range of petrol and diesel engines, and manual and dual-clutch transmission options. There will probably be a number of trim levels, too.
Prices have yet to be announced, but the Dune is expected to carry a premium over the standard Beetle, which starts at £16,275 for the coupe and £19,230 for the cabriolet. At this point, the only real rival the Beetle Dune faces is the Vauxhall Adam Rocks.
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By Only Motors