The German automaker has picked up a few over the years.
Getting into the record books is no mean feat. It's usually something that takes plenty of preparation and sometimes requires perfect conditions. This is especially true when it comes to setting track records, but Volkswagen is a brand that has set records in plenty of other spheres too. From records at the Nurburgring to production records and sales records, VW has done it all, although sometimes, the records are set by customers and fans and not even Wolfsburg's employees themselves. Let's take a walk down memory lane and have a look at nine of Volkswagen's records, each of which has been verified by Guinness.
This is probably the record that is freshest in everyone's minds. Volkswagen's ID.R prototype racer is an all-electric machine built purely to prove what electric propulsion can achieve. It is not eligible for any race series and is not road legal, but we'll bet other motorsport teams are happy that this is the case. The ID.R is so fast and accelerates so quickly that it made it around the Nordschleife's 12.93-mile-long circuit in just 6:05.336. This utterly decimated the previous electric car record by over 40 seconds. In racing, and especially on a long circuit like this one, that's an age.
This is a slightly odd one. The Autostadt facility in Wolfsburg features a pair of 20-story vehicle storage towers connected to the factory via an underground tunnel. If you've ordered a brand-new VW, you can watch your car get retrieved from these towers and delivered to you via an automated system. As you can imagine, this makes the process of delivering your car very efficient, but what you may not expect is just how efficient the system is. From the entrance of the tower to the furthest parking box in the towers, the robotic shuttles can store a car in just one minute and 44 seconds.
You can probably guess which car we're talking about here, although it's no longer in production. The Volkswagen Beetle is arguably as iconic for VW as the F40 is for Ferrari. It's a distillation of everything the brand stands for, which ultimately boils down to affordable transportation for everyday people. The car that made self-mobilization a cheap reality was the original Beetle, and on May 15, 1981, Volkswagen de Mexico in Puebla produced the 20 millionth example of the world's favorite bug. To commemorate the occasion, a special edition of the Beetle was produced with silver metallic paint and black side stripes.
The internal combustion engine is facing obsolescence as electric propulsion becomes more and more accessible. Although this is still some way off, it will happen eventually. But what better way to prolong the explosive powerplant than by proving how efficient it can be? Two pro racing drivers took a diesel-powered Volkswagen prototype to the Nardo circuit in Italy on October 18, 1980. They lapped the 14-mile circuit over and over for an hour and covered 219.598 miles in that time, thus setting a new record for the farthest distance covered in one hour while being propelled by an internal combustion engine.
As you may have guessed from the heading, this is actually three records. On April 29, 2000, 25 people crammed themselves into a "new" Volkswagen Beetle, the one known as the Millennium Bug. Ten years later, on December 9, 2010, 20 people stuffed themselves into a 1964 Beetle to raise awareness of human trafficking. Five years on from that record, on September 5, 2015, another group of VW enthusiasts in the UK packed 50 people into a Volkswagen camper van. This was also done in aid of a good cause, with the event used to raise money for a children's charity.
On July 9, 2012, a Volkswagen Amarok was driven across Egypt's Gilf Al-Kebir plateau from south to north. The route started at the Kamal El-din Hussein Memorial with the finish line at Wadi Abdul Malek. Covering a distance of 236 miles of treacherous terrain is difficult enough, but adverse weather conditions made the journey even more harrowing. Despite this, the 236-mile course was covered in just five hours and seven minutes, setting a new world record in the process. If nothing else, the record proved how reliable and hardy VW's pickup is. Fortunately, we'll get to try it out first hand soon enough.
This is a record that only those taking part in would likely have found fun, but it's interesting nonetheless. Brazil has a massive fanbase of Volkswagen enthusiasts, so when a local VW enthusiast club arranged an event to try to set a world record for a parade, people turned up in droves. 2,728 Volkswagen Beetles participated in the record attempt with the parade held on a racetrack near Sao Paulo on May 1, 1995. This set the record for the longest parade of a single-model vehicle. If anyone wants to try to beat this record, we'd suggest something super common, like a Toyota Corolla.
This record has nothing to do with cars, but hey, a record is a record. On October 15, 2019, hundreds of Volkswagen employees were gathered at an employee conference in Millbrook, UK. Somebody there decided that a great way to build team spirit and foster cooperation among everyone would be to set a world record, and that's exactly what they did. 786 participants, all of whom worked for the brand, gathered to create the largest human power symbol. They remained in position for five minutes, after which we assume they were treated to a cup of tea or some fish and chips.
2017 was the year in which Volkswagen broke the record for the world's best-selling passenger car company. Sales are estimated at 10,447,227 units, but it's worth noting that this applies to total sales of a company's passenger-car offering as a range. In terms of individual model lines, Ford's F series and the Toyota Corolla were more popular than the VW Golf.
As you can imagine, Volkswagen is still planning on setting and breaking more records. The ID.R prototype is expected to break more records, while Volkswagen also expects its production EVs to eventually break sales records too.