Volkswagen showed six conceptual takes on its Up at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, one of those being the Up Buggy. Although few will probably remember it, VW has not forgotten it, applying for a patent for the Meyers Manx revival roadster way back in March 2012 and being approved in June of this year, according to a report in Autocar. That will give the automaker a 14-year lock on the design while it decides whether to move forward with a reboot of its past.

A patent doesn't mean the Up Buggy will ever move beyond the sheet-of-paper stage, but Autocar says VW is studying the market to see if a production version is feasible. We can't see North America ever getting it, but even so, we wouldn't complain if they made it - especially if they put an exposed engine in back that was set off by 18-inch-long twin tailpipes jutting straight up into the air. However, for a company that aims to be the world's number-one automaker by 2018, a niche vehicle for its mass-market brand would be a surprising use of resources.