It was a concept first unveiled in January 2000 at the Los Angeles Motor Show, but it never really took off. However, the Volkswagen Dune now looks closer to full production than ever before.
With a new release at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, the model looks like it could be hitting global showrooms in the next few years.
The Dune takes the already iconic Beetle shape and gives it that little bit of extra cool, thanks to a raised body and lower height, as well as more robust and chunky features.
Despite the chill that has been engulfing Michigan thanks to the polar vortex, the car certainly looked hot as it was revealed to expectant crowds.
It presents a much more rugged and robust look than any other previous Beetles and is set to be the perfect car for anyone who has a passion for hitting the slopes.
The vehicle has been presented with a rear-mounted ski-rack, mimicking a design feature that was present in former classic Beetles. In the summer, it’s perfect for holding sand skis for hitting the dunes, while in the winter, drivers could take it to the mountains.
It is largely based on the current production model, featuring a 210 PS turbocharged petrol engine and a six-speed DSG gearbox, sending the power to the front wheels.
The interior is relatively similar too, but it comes with a passenger grab handle in place of the dash-mounted glovebox.
At the Detroit show, the car was presented in a yellow-orange metallic body colour, evoking the look of a sandy desert. The car also ripples and undulates like the dunes, thanks to large wheel arch extensions, burly front and rear bumpers and a shaped bonnet. The bonnet has been made more bulbous in order to incorporate new air vents on either side of the raised central section.
The strength and power of the vehicle is also conveyed through larger five-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels, an increased body width and a larger track.
At the bottom of the front bumper comes a new black honeycomb grille, with additional space for LED fog lights on either side.
Moving towards the rear of the vehicle, the car also comes with a rear spoiler, with a second also added that can serve as a ski rack.
It’s an exciting addition to the Volkswagen roster and motorists could soon be getting their hands on a production version of the car.
However, the manufacturer is using the Detroit motoring event to try and understand how the public will take to this latest creation, and to decide whether or not to pursue the design.
Despite the 2000 version never taking off, there are much higher hopes for the 2014 model.
It looks like a fun and quirky car, which is both versatile and aesthetically interesting. For UK customers though, it’s pretty unlikely that the car will be taken to any sand dunes! Perhaps a trip to the beach is the closest they will get!