Europe's largest carmaker, the Volkswagen Group, isn't known for producing platforms and mechanical components for single body style models (at least not in the mainstream segments), and that applies for the Up! mini, which was launched in 2011 as a three-door hatchback and has since gained a five-door and a light crossover version.
We’ve also seen plenty of conceptual proposals for the Up! family over the past couple of years, including studies for a GTi, a convertible, a five-door SUV (the Taigun), and the most eye-catching of all, a buggy inspired by the Beetle-based model from the 1960s.
The nostalgic take on the Up! was warmly received by the public at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show, but we hadn't heard anything new about the project until now, with UK magazine Autocar reporting that VW was granted a U.S. design patent just last month. We can confirm that the Germans did indeed patent the design, with the only visible difference to the concept being the square instead of round tailpipes (see gallery below).
Now, just because VW's patent went through doesn't mean that it's ready or it has received the green light for production. For what it's worth, the report says VW officials revealed that they are currently "conducting market research" and are interested in building the car in a small number of units.