Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept Is A 21st Century Baja Bug

The way VW's gorgeous new Beetle Dune Concept turned heads at the 2014 Detroit Auto Show, you'd have thought a bikini-clad Kate Upton was on the reviewing stand. Unlike the pneumatic supermodel, however, a production version of Volkswagen's reimagined Baja Bug may soon show up on the streets of your town.

The “Baja Bug” reference isn't supercilious, mind you. No less than VW's spokes-folks are calling the Beetle Dune Concept a “Baja Bug for the 21st century,” and Lord knows we need one!

The Beetle Dune Concept differs from many one-off concept cars by being based on an existing production model, in this case the Beetle R-Line. It's even powered by the R-Line's 210hp, 2.0L TSI engine though the ponies are accessed via a DSG six-speed DSG transmission.

Other hardware mods include an integral roof ski rack, a slide-away rear spoiler that doubles as a ski and snowboard rack, 19-inch alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights, and LED fog lights. The bodywork's been tweaked with off-roading and dune surfing in mind: the Beetle Dune Concept is longer, wider, taller, and sports an extra two inches of ground clearance. The brand new raised hood is complemented by a redesigned front fascia giving the familiarly cute Beetle a more aggressive face.

Inside, two-tone cloth & leather seats comfort passenger posteriors while a custom infotainment system boasts highlighted by a 7.7-inch AMOLED display stimulates other important senses. As for the Beetle's iconic dashboard bud vase, it's MIA and doubtless no-one will mourn the loss.

VW has been teasing us with “New Beetle”-based Dune concepts for years now but the Beetle Dune Concept shown at the Motor City motor-fest is by far the most production-ready. Here's hoping Volkswagen brings this concept to fruition by summer. Dudes, make it so! (via Uncrate and Hypebeast)