2012 Volkswagen Up record attemptEnlarge Photo
Producing a vehicle that can accommodate a high number of passengers whilst retaining great gas mileage is becoming a much-prized target in the automakers, with increasingly clever methods being used to squeeze high gas mileage out of mid to large-sized cars, minivans and SUVs.
Cramming 16 people into a small European fuel-sipping car? We don’t think that really counts.
As part of Volkswagen publicity following the official launch of its quart-sized Up minicar, Volkswagen's advertising department decided to see how many people it could fit into a production Up.
The smallest of Volkswagen’s cars currently in production, the 2012 Up was officially launched earlier this year at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show, along with six variants which Volkswagen says it will bring to market shortly.
Unlike other European automakers, Volkswagen won't be bringing the Up to the U.S. as far as we can tell.
With four passengers crammed into its front seats, one in each footwell, one along the dashboard, two in the trunk and seven on the rear bench-seat, Volkswagen proclaimed it a new -- yet unofficial -- world record.
As for driving? We don’t expect that was even conceivable with that many people on board, nor can we assume the Up was particularly happy about having that many people inside it.
Given its tiny dimensions, not to mention its 59-horsepower three-cylinder engine we think the Up would have struggled to produce anywhere near its official 56 miles per gallon fuel economy with what we calculate to be around 2,400 pounds of extra weight on board.
Then again, we have to hand it to Volkswagen: If you can find enough employees crazy enough to get that close and personal with their co-workers, we think you do at least deserve some praise.