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How many people can you fit in a Volkswagen... Up!?

How many people can you fit in a Volkswagen? It's a question that's been around nearly as long as the automaker itself, and usually applies to the Beetle. Back in the 1950s in Australia, 17 people fit into the original. In 2010, a group in Kentucky set the record with 20. Twenty-seven is the most that could squeeze into a New Beetle in 2001, and you can bet someone will try it with the latest Beetle, too. But Volkswagen's own communications staff in the UK were curious to see how many of them could fit into the new Up!

So how many did they squeeze in? A total of 16 poor souls – or fifteen ladies and one chap who maybe thought he'd be in for the time of his life but probably found out otherwise. Comfortable or not, they put four on the front seats, seven in the back, one on the dashboard, one in each of the footwells and two in the trunk, with the doors and hatchback closed. Not too shabby, but we bet some group somewhere will manage to squeeze in another couple of friends sooner or later.
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The up!, the smallest new Volkswagen, is a very spacious car. To prove this thesis, employees at Volkswagen Communications made an attempt at an unofficial world record. The results: not only is it possible for four people to sit comfortably in the new up! in normal use – if one really tries hard, many more people can fit into the car: 15 women and one man squeezed themselves into its interior spaces. It was not all that comfortable any more, we must admit!

Two in the boot, one on the dashboard, seven on the rear bench, four on the front seats, two in the footwells – then the boot lid and doors were shut, and the windows were closed. A world record! 16 people in the new up!. In this record attempt, the goal was not so much comfort as it was to have a lot of fun. And that is why such record attempts have a long tradition: back in the 1950s it was extremely popular to cram as many people as possible into a telephone booth – which in those days was still a very easy to find object. But what is a telephone booth compared to a VW Beetle? At a car meet in Australia, 17 Beetle friends spontaneously decided to squeeze into this Volkswagen icon. In 2010, 20 people – who obviously had extremely high levels of pain tolerance – raised the bar with a record in Wilmore, Kentucky (USA), which landed them in the Guinness World Records. Naturally, attempts were also made in the successor model. In January 2001, a record 27 students from the USA squeezed into a New Beetle.

And now, in 2011, we have the up! – one for all! Well, it was good for at least 16 on our first try. At 3.54 metres long and 1.64 metres wide, the up! is one of the smallest four-seat cars. After its market launch in Spring 2012, customers can set their own records.

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