Every year, Guinness World Records receive around 50,000 applications from aspiring record-breakers. It is a competitive field to be on, and it is doubly so in the world of motorsports and transportation, where records can be broken with just milliseconds of difference.
Volkswagen is not new to breaking records. To celebrate Guinness World Records Day, here is a look back at the nine times that Volkswagen and its fans broke records and earned a spot in the Guinness World Records history.
1. Fastest lap by an electric car at the Nürburgring Nordschleife
The Nordschleife sits in the highlands of Nürburg, Germany, where it is a motorsport racing circuit that is 12.93 miles long. Drivers have to navigate around a village and medieval castle, making 145 turns, and an elevation change of 3,000 meters.
On June 3, 2019, the Volkswagen ID.R prototype, driven by a professional racing driver, was able to achieve the fastest lap at the Nordschleife by an electric vehicle in only 6 minutes and 5.336 seconds. The ID.R is equipped with two electric motors, with one in each axle, and together they generate 670 horsepower.
2. Fastest Automated Parking Facility
In Wolfburg, Germany, sits the Volkswagen Autostadt which has two 20-story vehicle storage towers that are connected to the Volkswagen factory through an underground tunnel.
Those who purchase a vehicle at the facility are treated to a unique experience of watching an automated system retrieve their car and deliver it to them.
In 2013, the facility set the world record of being the fastest automated parking as their robotic shuttles have the capability to complete the parking process in 1 minute and 44 seconds, starting from the entrance of the tower to the farthest parking box.
3. First car to sell 20 million units
The first automobile in history to sell 20 million units is the Volkswagen Beetle. At the assembly line of Volkswagen de Mexico in Puebla, the 20 millionth Volkswagen Beetle rolled off the assembly on May 15, 1981.
To commemorate the occasion, they released a limited-edition commemorative Beetle that had silver metallic paint and black side stripes.
4. The Longest distance driven utilizing an internal combustion engine over an hour period
The record of the longest distance that a car with a combustion engine drove in an hour was done by two professional racing drivers. On October 18, 1980, in a Volkswagen diesel-powered prototype, at the Nardò circuit in Italy, the test drivers traversed the 14-mile track, driving 219.598 miles in just an hour.
5. Most people crammed into…
- A ‘new’ Volkswagen Beetle. On April 29, 2000, 25 people packed themselves into a Volkswagen Beetle in Kremser, Austria.
- An ‘old’ Volkswagen Beetle. More than a decade later, on December 9, 2010, a university attempted the same record, but with a 1964 Volkswagen Beetle. In an event organized to raise awareness on human trafficking, twenty people crammed themselves into a car, which was the most people that fit inside an old-style Beetle model.
- A Volkswagen camper van. This time to raise money for a children’s charity, a group of Volkswagen enthusiasts got together at a festival in Malvern Worcestershire in the UK to set a record that has never been done before. Fifty people were able to squeeze themselves into the van.
6. Fastest vehicle crossing the Gilf Al-Kebir Plateau
On July 9, 2012, a Volkswagen Amarok was driven across the Gilf Al-Kebir plateau. The starting point of the route was at the Kamal El-din Hussein Memorial ending at the Wadi Abdul Malek. With 5 hours and 7 minutes on the clock, they broke the world record for the fastest time to cross the plateau from south to north, covering 236 miles of difficult terrain and in poor weather at that.
7. Longest parade of Volkswagen cars
This feat actually broke two records, on May 1, 1995, a local Volkswagen enthusiast club got 2,728 Volkswagen Beetle owners to parade on a racetrack near Säo Paulo, achieving the record of the longest parade of Volkswagen cars and the longest parade of a single-model vehicle.
8. Largest Human Power Symbol
This feat was achieved by the people behind the beloved marque. Hundreds of Volkswagen employees in Millbrook, UK were brought together for an employee conference on October 15, 2019. To promote teamwork, the 786 participants who all worked for the Volkswagen Group, came together to create the largest human power symbol. They remained in position for five minutes.
9. Bestselling Passenger Car Company
Volkswagen broke another sales record as in 2017, with an estimated sale of 10,447,227 units, they set the record for the world’s best-selling passenger car company.
Volkswagen have their eyes on breaking more records. With the ID.4 about to launch a new generation of fully electric vehicles, Volkswagen is sure to set and break more of the world’s records in the coming years.