Volkswagen’s Beetle Dune Concept at 2014 NAIAS: Lynch or Jodorowsky?
One of this year’s most compelling documentaries is Jodorowsky’s Dune, which tells the story of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s (El Topo, Holy Mountain) failed attempt to adapt Frank Herbert’s Dune to the big screen. What we would have received—and what we are given glimpses of in the documentary through interviews and storyboards—was something that the director hoped would open wide the minds and imaginations of viewers. (It also would have starred Orson Welles, Salvador, Dali, and Mick Jagger; the music of Pink Floyd and Peter Gabriel; and special effects and artwork from Dan O’Bannon and H.R. Giger, respectively.) Sadly, we never did get that vision of Dune (we instead got David Lynch’s interpretation, which was arguably the worst film in his otherwise brilliant oeuvre). This week at the North American International Auto Show, we got a different kind of Dune: the Volkswagen Beetle Dune Concept.
Like the Dune series and its various spin-offs, the Beetle is a highly-regarded cult favorite, and this new concept is said to represent its potential for a cool and rugged (let’s not forget shiny) offroad look. It sits on 19” five-spoke wheels, giving it a slightly raised clearance and height from your typical Bug; the Beetle Dune Concept also features a more aggressive front fascia, uniquely-sloped hood and roof, and a rear spoiler that also serves as a ski rack.
Called “A Baja Bug for the 21st Century,” Volkswagen says the Beetle Dune Concept is production-ready, yet doesn’t seem ready to commit to the idea of full-scale production. The Dune Concept uses the same powertrain from the Beetle R-Line from which it also draws considerable inspiration; a turbocharged and direct-injected TSI® 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine generates 210 horsepower in the effort of getting the Dune over whatever rugged terrain it sees fit to tackle.
With so many other concepts at this week’s NAIAS proceedings, it’s easy for the Beetle Dune Concept to get lost in the shuffle, particularly when it’s not even necessarily the most interesting or powerful thing Volkswagen brought with them. To read up on the Beetle Dune, check out Volkswagen’s press release.
Let us know: is the Beetle Dune destined to be something wondrous that never sees the light of production (like Jodorowsky’s Dune) or will it be a wretched-at-worst and forgettable-at-best addition to Volkswagen’s lineup if it goes into production (like Lynch’s Dune)? Leave us a comment and give us your take!