Audi A3 sets a new record: from Africa through Europe to Asia in 72 hours

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 25, 2010

Gerhard Plattner, the driving specialist, who covered well over 3,044 miles (4,900 km) in three days, is preparing for his next attempt at breaking a record of being the first driver to reach three continents in three days maximum.

The plan is to depart from Rabat, Morocco on June 8 in an Audi A3 1.9 TDI e with co-driver Franz Doppler to reach the Asian side of Istanbul, Turkey within 72 hours. Plattner has already gone around the world seven times in his attempt to set new world records.

The latest challenge will test the team's endurance as well as their driving abilities and physical wellness together with the reliability of the Audi A3 they will be utilizing in this endeavor.

The trip will begin at the royal mausoleum in Rabat in June 8, then getting across to Tarifa in Spain on a high-speed ferry. Both drivers will thereafter drive along the Mediterranean coast of Spain, France and Italy.

They will then cross the Alps after which they will have a short breather in Munich, then Plattner will get behind the wheel of the A3 through the Balkan States, reaching Istanbul and crossing the Bosporus to get to the finish line in Asia by June 11, a driving that totals no more than 72 hours in all.

Plattner has received the title The Most Versatile Driver in the World from the Guinness Book of World Records. Up until this time, Plattner, a journalist from Tyro, has managed to cover abut 4.3 million miles (7 million kilometers) by car, which has helped him set a number of world records including speed, efficiency and endurance.

Plattner completed the fastest drive around the world in 1991 in an Audi S2, a record that has never been broken until today. In his last venture he has opted for an Audi A3 1.9 TDI e diesel hatch which manages 105hp (77kW) and a 52mpg (4.5L/100km) official fuel economy rating.

Press Release

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.

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