DETROIT – With the market tilting more and more toward CUVs, why not the Beetle?

Volkswagen rolls out an off-road-leaning Beetle in the Dune concept uncovered today at the North American International Auto Show here.

The hardtop model features an extremely low profile and highly pronounced 2-part wheel arches that combine to give the Beetle a rugged, well-planted appearance.

The wheel housings incorporate gloss-black blades that hover over the wheels and widen the body by 2.2 ins. (55.9 mm) to 73.4 ins. (1,864.4 mm). They flow into brushed-aluminum sill trim panels that run alongside the length of the car.

Making the concept even more noticeable is its “Arizona” yellow-and-orange paint scheme, while a skid plate provides a portion of its off-road DNA.

The Dune is based on the Beetle R-Line model, but is 0.5 ins. (12.7 mm) longer overall, 0.8 ins. (20.3 mm) taller and has 2.0 ins. (50.8 mm) higher ground clearance. Track is increased 1.1 ins. (27.9 mm).

Rear fenders carry a stylized Dune logo. The hood, which shields the car’s 210-hp 2.0L TSI turbocharged gasoline engine, features a raised center section flanked by honeycomb-like air vents accented with chrome.

An integral rear spoiler works together with a roof-mounted rack to carry skis or snowboards. Even when transporting skis the trunk can be opened.

Inside, the Beetle off-roader carries over the Arizona paint scheme accents along the dash and Dune badging on the door inners. There’s a grab handle built into the dash for the passenger.

Featuring a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, the Dune is estimated to deliver 23/29 mpg (10.2-8.1 L/100 km) city/highway fuel economy.

VW says the concept “shows the potential for a new production version of the sportiest Beetle ever.”