We've talked about the new Beetle Dune concept earlier, and while it was a treat to see it in person, there's a couple things that should be cleared up: it has nothing to do with the planet Arrakis or the spice Melange, and it feels like a half-finished idea.
It hurts me deep down to complain about a Baja Beetle-style VW concept, but the truth is that this one is all show. Even the goofy little film VW showed to promote the Dune was called Urban Dune, which is a pretty clear tip-off that this thing is far more at home on road than off. And we all know what the real king of urban dune buggies is.
The promo film was pretty embarrassing. I think it was about young, beautiful urban parkour enthusiasts who jump around buildings like Batman and then decide to drive, or something?
It's not like it would have taken too much more to really finish the Dune concept: bigger, knobbier tires, a bit of a lift, maybe some Baja-style cutaway fenders and some skid plates. The basic tough-Beetle look is there, it just needs to be pushed a bit to make it feel more plausible, even if this thing will never actually be made.
Of course, if VW really decided to do something like this, you'd think they'd give it one of their AWD setups instead of just leaving it FWD. Even a ruggedized FWD wouldn't be bad, and VW does have a history with 2WD off-roaders, from the wartime Kubelwagen to original Baja Bugs, Myers Manxes, and the VW Thing.
But, as it stands now, the Dune concept is really more of a color/body kit concept that barely has enough room in the wheel wells to cram a hand. It's all show and no go, which is too bad, because the show certainly hints a potentially very fun form of go.
They did a nice job on the detailing, and the interior feels modern and fun, the color choice is good, and accessories like the angled rear ski/snowboard/colossal summer sausage holders, but all these good points just make it more evident that this is an engaging enough concept to push further than they did.
So, VW, why don't you take this back to the shop, give it a real off-road suspension and tires, and see what kind of fun you could have. I suggest Dakar.