Cramming people into small Volkswagens has become a something of a tradition — one that apparently continues today. A total of 16 VW employees recently stuffed themselves into the German automakers newest subcompact, the Up! Measuring 139.4 inches long, 64.6 inches wide, and 58.3 inches wide, the Up! receives a passenger compartment many would already consider to be tight quarters. But VW demonstrates that the Up! can fit quite a few more than the four passengers it’s intended for.
A group of volunteers from VW’s communications team were given the task of cramming into the A-segment Up!, which was recently announced for production and had several versions previewed in concept form at this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show. Fitting two people in the trunk, seven in the back seat, four in the front seats, two in the footwells, and one over the dashboard, the Up! squeezed the 16 volunteers tightly into its cabin and was able to still close its doors, rear hatch, and windows. Volkswagen set the bar fairly high for anyone agoraphobic enough to make an attempt at the record when the Up! becomes available to the European public on December 2.
That fascination with filling small VWs to capacity dates back to the 1950s, when college kids would stuff themselves inside original Beetles to see how many they could fit. A record for that car was recently set last year in Australia, where 17 individuals enjoyed each other’s company inside the iconic VW Bug. For the New Beetle, introduced in 1998, the record was set in 2001, and stands at 27 live bodies. Any more, and you’d probably need the jaws of life to open that can of sardines.
For now, the slightly smaller Up! trails behind its Volkswagen-branded predecessors in ultimate people capacity. But a number exceeding the 16-person record recently set doesn’t seem too far-fetched. Especially if you throw another (lonely) dude into the mix.