Volkswagen is bringing three special displays to the 2019 Techno Classica this week, including a rare glimpse at a supercar concept from 2001. Techno Classica is the world’s largest vintage car festival, held in Essen, Germany every year. Volkswagen’s exhibits will honor record-breaking cars, the 70th anniversary of the Beetle Cabriolet, and the company's commitment to technical education and training.
The record breakers are six historic VWs that set a variety of speed, economy, and longevity records.
The list starts with the Volkswagen W12 Nardò, holder of 10 international records. This includes a record for 200 mph average speed over 24 hours, which was set at the high speed Nardò Ring track in Italy in 2002 and still stands. Two years prior, the 3.0-liter Lupo TDI “80 Days” was awarded the title of the most economic production car by the Guinness Book of Records, after two Lupos traveled 33,333 kilometers (20,712 miles) through 22 countries under the motto “Around the World in 80 Days,” achieving an average of over 98 mpg. That’s nothing in comparison to the three-wheel SMVW Volkswagen Ecomobile experimental vehicle, though, which traveled over 926 miles on just one liter of diesel fuel in 1982. There are also two pre-production 1988 Corrado G60s that set six class records at VW’s Ehra-Lessen test track.
One of the oldest production Golfs is on display as well. In this case, it’s the 1974 Golf I “Alaska-Tierra del Fuego” that was one of two Golfs that completed the 18,962.385 mile journey from Fairbanks, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina. The final car in the group is VW's first special edition, the 1972 “World Champion” 1302 S Beetle, built to celebrate the Type I becoming the most popular car in the world at the time, with 15,007,034 being built by February, 1972.
VW is publishing a 68-page booklet titled “Mission Maximum” that chronicles Volkwagen's record attempts and will be distributed for free at the Essen event.
The “Summer Forever” display is a 70th birthday party for the Beetle Cabriolet, first introduced in 1949. To celebrate the anniversary, VW is showing two extremely rare Type I convertibles, a 1949 Type 151 Karmann Cabriolet and one of just 696 Hebmüller Cabriolet Type 14As built.
The three special displays will wrap up with “Youth At Work.” Two trainees from Volkswagen's Osnabrück training facility, Fábio Lopes and Marvin Wiethölter, have been restoring a 1968 Type 3 for the past four months. They will be completing the restoration at the Techno Classica.
Joining the special displays will be Volkswagen Classic's annual exhibit, which this year features nine vehicles from the Volkswagen AutoMuseum, Autostadt Wolfsburg, and VW Classic's own collection.
This year's Techno Classica will be the 31st running of the show, and will include over 1,250 exhibitors from more than 30 different countries as well as the participation of over 200 car clubs. The fair runs from April 10 through 14.