Pattner receives the keys in Ingolstadt – Click above for a high-res image gallery
There are road trips and there are road trips. This one is a fine example of the latter. With an endless roster of driving records under his belt, German auto journalist Gerhard Plattner is gearing up to drive on three continents in just three days, in the process setting yet another world record. His weapon of choice? An Audi A3 1.9 TDI, which the German automaker enthusiastically handed over just the other day.
This will hardly be the first time Plattner has set new records in a Four-Ringed car, as he already set the record for driving around the world in an Audi S2 way back in 1991, a record that still stands to this day. Known by some as "the most versatile driver in the world", Plattner has covered some 7 million kilometers (4.3 million miles) in his career, but this could be the most daunting challenge yet. Together with co-pilot Franz Doppler, Plattner will be driving on three continents – Asia, Africa and Europe – in three days.
Rather than taking the shortest route (from Egypt, along the Mediterranean coast through Israel and Syria and up into Turkey), the German duo will start in Morocco, cross the Gibraltar into Spain, across Spain, Italy, through the Alps, across the Balkans and on to Istanbul. The tour kicks off on June 8 and is scheduled to end on June 11, so stay tuned, and check out the images below and details in the press release after the jump in the meantime.
En route to a new record with the Audi A3:
three continents in three days
* Record-breaking attempt to drive from Africa through Europe to Asia in 72 hours
* Driving specialist Gerhard Plattner to pilot the Audi A3 1.9 TDI e from Rabat to Istanbul
* Vehicle handed over today at Audi Forum Ingolstadt
Covering over 4,900 kilometers (3,044 miles) in three days, driving specialist Gerhard Plattner is gearing up for his next record-breaking attempt as the first driver to reach three continents in just three days. On June 8, Plattner and his co-pilot Franz Doppler will depart from Rabat, Morocco, in an Audi A3 1.9 TDI e with the goal of reaching the Asian side of Istanbul no more than 72 hours later. Today's presentation of the vehicle at the Audi Forum Ingolstadt marks the beginning of a phase of intense preparation for the team of drivers.
Gerhard Plattner has already circled the globe seven times in attempts to set new records. Now the passionate motorist is seeking to set his latest world record by reaching three continents in just three days, covering over 4,900 kilometers (3,044 miles) from the Moroccan capital of Rabat to the Asian side of Istanbul, crossing Europe and a total of 13 countries – in just 72 hours. The route will present an enormous challenge to the team's endurance, driving skill and physical fitness.
Extreme conditions on the record-breaking drive will also serve as a tough test of the vehicle's safety, efficiency and comfort on long-distance routes.
Plattner and his co-pilot Franz Doppler therefore chose a standard Audi A3 1.9 TDI e with an output of 77 kW (105 hp) to help them successfully complete the difficult journey. "The A3 has ideal characteristics for all three continents. Nevertheless, any attempt to break a record also requires a lot of good luck, especially regarding the weather and traffic," said Gerhard Plattner during the presentation of the vehicle at the Audi Forum Ingolstadt.
The two driving specialists plan to start their journey on June 8 from the royal mausoleum in Rabat, later crossing to Tarifa in Spain with the high-speed ferry. Plattner and Doppler will then drive along the Mediterranean coast of Spain, France and Italy. After crossing the Alps and a brief stop in Munich, Plattner will pilot the A3 through the Balkan States, arriving in Istanbul and crossing the Bosporus to reach the finish line in Asia on June 11, after no more than 72 hours of total driving time. However, the driving specialist is not just interested in a new entry in the record books. Plattner plans on returning to Ingolstadt with a photographic document containing precisely 100 commemorative photos – the passionate driver's way of wishing the Audi brand a happy 100th birthday.
The Guinness Book of World Records has dubbed Gerhard Plattner "the most versatile driver in the world." To date, the journalist from Tyrol has covered just under 7 million kilometers (4.3 million miles) by car, setting numerous world records for speed, efficiency and endurance in the process. In 1991, Plattner completed the fastest round-the-world drive in an Audi S2, a record that still stands today. Plattner also set a record for the most efficient round-the-world journey in a car from the brand with the four rings, an Audi 80 TDI. In 1992, the record-breaking driver piloted an Audi duo, the world's first standard hybrid vehicle, from Ingolstadt to the World's Fair in Seville.