It looks as though Volkswagen could be planning to bring back a rear-engined city car after it unveiled the daftly named up! concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

Based on a brand new platform and drivetrain, and measuring only 3.45m, the engine layout harks back to the original Beetle. Bizarrely, the tailgate section is constructed entirely out of a transparent material, with a glowing VW roundel in the middle.

Intended as “inspiration for a new family of small, extremely efficient vehicles”, the up! can be powered by a choice of compact two- or three-cylinder engines. Interior space has been maximized by pushing each of the four wheels as far into the corners as possible, which also aids stability.

Each of the individual, lightweight passenger seats, which feature inflatable pockets to maximise comfort, can be folded and removed from the vehicle if necessary in order for larger loads to be carried. On the tech side, software linked to a touch-sensitive screen has the ability to sense specific hand movements of the user to access the climate, entertainment and vehicle function controls. A second screen, mounted ahead of the driver, relays critical information on the vehicle’s systems along with an instantaneous read-out of the amounts of CO2 being emitted.

Cute and cool, but does the world really need yet another small VW? And imagine the servicing costs…