To prove that Volkswagen’s up! is a very spacious car, it attempted to set a record by fitting in 16 people -- 15 women and one man -- inside it. Volkswagen Communications’ employees claim that four people could sit comfortably in the new up!, Volkswagen’s smallest model, and they set out to demonstrate that plenty more could fit in it if they try really hard.
It was highly uncomfortable but two were in the boot, one was on the dashboard, seven sat on the rear bench, four cramped into the front seats, and two were in the footwells. The employees then shut the windows and closed the boot lid and doors.
Volkswagen expressed its sense of humor in making this unofficial attempt. In the 1950s, there were many attempts made to stuff the most number of people in a telephone booth.
During a car meet in Australia, 17 people squeezed into a Beetle. According to the Guinness World Records, the existing record was set last year when 20 people in Wilmore, Kentucky (USA), fitted into a Beetle.
There had been similar attempts made in the successor model. A record 27 students from the US crammed into a New Beetle in January 2001.
The up! is the smallest Volkswagen at 3.54 metres long and 1.64 metres wide so it’s bound to be more challenging. On the first attempt, 16 got inside the up! It will be launched in the market in spring 2012.
Looking at it from the front, the Volkswagen up! seems to be smiling at you thanks to the lines you see on the bumper. This is an intentional effect. A black narrow band goes from one headlight to the other while the daytime running lights are integrated into the headlights. You could also find the Volkswagen logo here and this is the only element that you see up front that is in chrome. The up! does not have big air cooling intakes because it uses an electric motor and petrol and natural gas engine. The headlights are also smaller than other Volkswagen vehicles, yet they seem very prominent.
Head of design of the Volkswagen Brand Klaus Bischoff says that the front-end designs you see on various models such as the up! and the Phaeton all adhere to the same style guide. The various models are unified by having the same style elements such as the use of strong horizontal lines, the concise short angles and integrating the grille and headlights. Bischoff explains that even with the similarities that all of these models have, each line is differentiated from one another, giving each one an individual look. For instance, the friendly up! has different proportions from the elegant Phaeton.
Looking at the car from the side, you see the significant surface flares and the alternating concave and convex forms. A slight concave groove is located just above the side sill to accentuate the otherwise flat surface. The side silhouette does not show any edges or seams, other than the wheel housings and the side windows. The bold wheel housings host the wheels. It also features wheel mirrors that are large, making the 14 to 16 inch wheels look bigger than they actually are.
The windows’ appearance gives the up! a distinguishable look. A short angle connects the bonnet to the window edge, while a long upward line in the rear of the car mirrors the same lines formed by the C-pillar and the rear wheel. These lines give you the impression that the C-pillar is supported by the wheels at the back. The long wheelbase and very short overhangs gives the up! very crisp proportions.
The bonnet has another line that goes over the windshield, through the roof and then to the rear. You could see this unmistakable line as you trace the car’s silhouette from the side windows to the bumper.