Volkswagen’s Buggy Up concept has been granted a US design patent in the past few weeks, suggesting the car maker is keen to take the idea further.

The application was made in March 2012, five months after the concept was first unveiled at the 2011 Frankfurt show. 

The design has been credited to Klaus Bischoff, who is the overall head of VW design, and Peter Wouda and Thorben Kochs, who are based at VW’s advanced design studio in Berlin. The patent runs for 14 years from June this year.

The Buggy Up makes obvious reference to the beach buggies that first became popular in the early 1960s on America’s west coast. The original idea was developed by Bruce Meyers, who combined his expertise in fibreglass construction with the original Beetle’s floorpan, suspension and flat four engine.

VW has been trying to harness the ‘feel-good factor’ it enjoyed in the US in the 1960s with the Beetle, Camper and Beetle-based Karmann Ghia. The beach buggy, albeit built by small local enterprises, was a significant part of the brand’s appeal.

Recapturing this successful period would further aid VW’s US fortunes, which are on the rise after more than two decades in the doldrums. 

VW’s first US factory, based in Pennsylvania, was closed in 1988 after years of poor quality and the unsuitability of the contemporary Golf and Jetta for the US market.

VW sources have already admitted that they would like to put the Buggy Up into production but are conducting market research into the likely annual sales for the car. However, judging by the car’s construction, it would probably have to be made in relatively small volumes, combining the basic Up structure with moulded plastic body panels.