With the world premiere of the Beetle Dune at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Volkswagen gave the public the chance to see a Beetle with a cooler, off-road look. Finished in an 'Arizona', yellow/orange metallic paintwork, the flared wheel arches are finished in a contrasting black. It is no Land Rover for sure, but it looks tough enough to take on the gruelling Dakar Rally don't you think?
Overall, the Dune has grown compared with the R-Line model - on which it is based. The overall length has increased to 4,290mm and the car is both 50mm higher off the ground and 20mm taller. The wheel housings widen the body by 27mm per side to give a total width of 1,864mm.
Mechanically, the Dune uses the running gear from the Beetle R-Line. Under the hood, there's a 210bhp rated turbocharged 2.0-litre TSI engine running the front wheels. Combined with a six-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic transmission, the Beetle Dune has a manufacturer estimated fuel economy rating of up to 12.3km/L. As with all U.S. Beetle R-Line models, the electronic XDS differential is also offered as standard.
The wheel arch extensions transition into brushed aluminium sill trim panels, between which there's a chrome plated underbody skidplate. Meanwhile, the distinctive Dune logo is placed ahead of the rear fenders. The bottom of the door mirrors are in black, with the rest of the mirror being vapour-coated in aluminium.
The front end is revised by the adoption of a new hood, which has a raised centre section, flanked by prominent air vents. Similarly the redesigned front apron features a large central air intake.
The Dune team also revamped the interior, with two particular areas of attention. The dashboard is painted in the body colour, while the classic Beetle bin has been replaced by a grab handle that features contrasting black soft-touch material with 'Arizona' and aluminium accents.
The outer surfaces of the front sport seats and the two rear seats are upholstered in 'Titan Black' leather, while the centre surfaces are made of 'Ceramic' coloured 'Gobi'breathable sport fabric. The leather and fabric areas and the front and rear of the head restraints have decorative body coloured stitching.