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Detroit motor show stars are shining

The VW Beetle Dune concept.
The VW Beetle Dune concept.

THERE have been some early shining stars at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Among the headline acts so far are the BMW M3 and M4, Toyota's FT-1 Concept and Kia's Stinger.

Volkswagen revealed its Beetle Dune concept featuring a cool, rugged off-road look. The body has been raised by 50mm compared with a standard Beetle, and 19-inch wheels with large tyres.

It features a rear-mounted ski-rack in a nod to classic Beetles. Under its shining "Arizona" paint - a yellow-orange metallic - the Dune has two-part wheelarch extensions. 

A "blade" of 1.5mm-wide plastic separates the main matt black wheelarch extensions from the body.  The matt wheelarch housings widen the body by 24mm each side, for a total width of 1856 mm, while the front and rear cladding lengthens the car overall by 12mm to 4290mm.  At 1536 mm tall, the Dune is 50 mm higher than a standard Beetle.

To fit with the increased body width, the Beetle Dune's track has also been increased by 29mm, to 1607mm at the front and 1573mm at the rear.  The five-spoke 19-inch alloy wheels wear 255/45 tyres.

The interior of the car is largely familiar from the production Beetle, but with the characteristic dash-mounted glovebox this time replaced with a passenger grab handle.  The centre of the dash is dominated by a large high-resolution 7.7-inch touchscreen display.

Porsche presented the latest addition to the iconic 911 sports coupe family: the 911 Targa.

Just like the legendary original 911 Targa model, the new model features a characteristic wide bar in place of the B-pillars aft of the doors, a movable roof section above the driver and passenger, and a wrap-around rear window - with no C-pillar. But, unlike the classic models, the roof segment of the new Targa can be opened and closed at the push of a button.

When the button is pressed, the fully automatic system stows the roof top behind the rear seats.

The new Targa comes in two versions available exclusively with all-wheel drive. A seven-speed manual transmission is fitted as standard. The 911 Targa 4 is powered by a 3.4-litre 257kW flat-six engine. Equipped with the optional Porsche Doppelkupplung (PDK) double-clutch transmission and Sport Chrono Package, this model can accelerate from 0-100kmh in just 4.8 seconds.

The top model is the 911 Targa 4S, which delivers 294kW from a displacement of 3.8 litres. This model is able to accelerate from standstill to 100kmh in 4.4 seconds.

Topics:  cars news detroit motor show editors picks motoring