Back before the Volkswagen was a high-end brand selling Golfs to yuppies, they used to be dirt-cheap cars that were easy to modify. As a result, there were a lot of Volkswagen dune buggies puttering across the beaches of America… something that this concept car would like to see again.
Life’s A Beach
The Dune concept is not really a dune buggy, but it is a surprisingly aggressive take on the unassuming little car. It’s been raised two inches and has 19-inch wheels, for a start, bigger than the standard Beetle and more like a car that doesn’t look like it comes entirely in pastels. Not to rag on the Beetle’s looks, but come on; it’s a dorkmobile.
Also, the rear spoiler doubles as a roof rack; it can be used for skis and boards. And that’d be interesting enough, but there’s a lot more to it than just making the Beetle “extreme.”
Pretty Looks, Surprisingly Power
The Dune Beetle has an engine from the Beetle’s R-Line, meaning it’s got 210 horsepower. Volkswagen has also tweaked the handling so the car is tighter in the turns and more capable on the road. Not that the original Beetle line was any slouch, but handling improvements have never hurt a car. Beyond that, it’s really a standard Beetle, just one most people wouldn’t feel bad about driving.
Will The Dune Roll In?
Possibly. As we said, it’s largely a stock Beetle, but those 19 inch wheels need wider wheel housings than the standard Beetle, so this isn’t a question of tossing a funky spoiler on the back and slapping a markup on the invoice. But, Volkswagen would like to sell cars, and this concept isn’t as aggressively impossible to manufacture as some other concept cars, or concept technologies for that matter, we’ve been seeing lately. So, if you want a crack at the Dune, you might soon have one.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.