Several motoring magazines have now sent a reviewer out on first drives of Volkswagen’s new concept, the Beetle Dune.
The Dune is a tough crossover take on the iconic three-door Beetle hatchback. It features a new, stronger front bumper, a silver protection plate, contoured bonnet and black cladding – and a higher ground clearance lends the car an imposing stance. This design is likely to be refined before the car enters production.
In road testing the turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine has been put through its paces. It’s a more powerful unit than in any standard Beetle, and partners with a six-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox. There will eventually be more engine options with the production version.
Reviewers have praised the “lovely cross-stitched leather seats”, “direct and light steering” and more confident, rugged style. As Auto Express enthuses: “If the German manufacturer stays true to its word, we could be looking at the best handling Beetle there has ever been.”
Full production approval has yet to be given for the Beetle Dune, but Volkswagen has confirmed the intention to have the car built in Mexico during 2015.
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