Volkswagen Beetle Dune conceptVolkswagen

These are the latest images of the Volkswagen Beetle Dune, a concept car initially showcased at January's Detroit Motor Show, but which now looks near production ready.

The Beetle Dune is essentially a toughened-up version of the regular Beetle hatchback, and has a substantially raised ride height and plastic cladding around the bumpers and wheel arches for protection in mild off-roading.

It also sits on larger 19-inch wheels shod in all-terrain tyres. A rear mounted ski-rack – perfect for mounting sand boards according to VW – completes the lifestyle makeover.

While it is fitted with a front electronic differential lock, VW has chosen not to fit the Beetle Dune with its 4MOTION four-wheel-drive system, though it is not yet clear whether the system will be offered in any production model.

Based on the current generation Beetle hatchback, the Dune Concept is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that develops 207bhp. Mated to VW's twin-clutch DSG automatic gearbox, the Dune is capable of sprinting from 0-62mph in 7.3 seconds and will accelerate all the way up to 141mph.

Autocar reports the Beetle Dune is expected to get the green light for production in 2015, and if it does it will join a growing array of crossover offerings from the German marque, including the CrossPolo, CrossGolf and CrossTouran. Further engines, including a 2.0-litre diesel unit, are also expected to be offered.