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Volkswagen Crams 16 People in an Up!

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author photo by Jeffrey Archer October 2011

Volkswagen is eager to demonstrate its new Up! city car for European buyers - even if that means cramming 16 people inside to emphasize its interior volume.

The automaker recently pulled off the feat, filling the 139.4-inch, two-door micro car with 16 of its European employees. While the group primarily consisting of young women filled nearly every empty space in the car, the stunt proves the diminutive Up! has all the interior room necessary to take on the urban lifestyle of the typical European city-dweller.

According to Volkswagen, cramming 16 people inside the hatchback was - unexpectedly - no easy feat. Two people were stuffed in the cargo area, while seven managed to squeeze into the back seat, four piled in to the front seats, two ended up in the footwells and one laid over the dashboard. But despite the tight fit, employees were able to close each of the Up!'s doors without issue, including its rear hatch.

Interestingly, cramming people into Volkswagen's smallest models is not without precedent. In the 1950s, a collegiate pastime involved squeezing people into the automaker's original Beetle, a trend that became so prevalent that Guinness Book of World Records began keeping tabs on the leaders. While the record stood for years at an almost unbelievable 17, a Kentucky university student group laid a new claim to the title late last year, announcing that it fit a whopping 20 people inside the 1960s icon. As for the New Beetle, the record supposedly stands at 27.

While the Up! may be roomier than it appears at first glance, it's probably still too small for the U.S. market. After the hatchback debuted earlier this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Volkswagen announced plans for the Up! to go on sale throughout Europe with a range of fuel-efficient engines, but shied away from any mention of a U.S. launch.

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Volkswagen Crams 16 People in an Up! - Autotrader