Gallery: The W12 Nardo and Others Will Be on Show in Europe

Volkswagen, like most European manufacturers, is taking a few of its classics out of mothballs to show them off at Techno Classica in Essen, Germany. And VW is bringing the heat with a selection of record-breaking cars.

Among the cars on display will be VW’s 2001 W12 Nardo supercar, which set 10 international records at the Nardo high-speed test track in Italy in 2001. Then, an updated version of the test car returned the next year smashing all of its own records and running for 24 hours at an average speed of 322.89 km/h (just over 200 mph).

Volkswagen will also show off the 1974 “Alaska-Tierra del Fuego” Golf. As the name suggests, it drove from Fairbanks, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina. But that’s not all. This is one of the very first test cars built for the Golf, and VW figures that was the longest test drive for a test vehicle at the time.

Similarly, the Lupo you see in the gallery is from 2000, when it drove 33,333 km in 80 days on its “Around the World in 80 Days” mission. But the point of driving it that distance wasn’t just rubbing Phileas Fogg’s smug nose in it, the Lupo averaged 2.38 l/100 km on its drive, which is just a shade under 100 mpg. That earned it a Guinness record as the most fuel-efficient production car in the world.

VW had been playing around with fuel economy runs for a long time, though. The 1982 SMVW, known as the Ecomobile, was a three-wheel car making less than half a horsepower that traveled nearly 1,500 km (0.9 miles) on just a liter of fuel.

The Corrado in the pictures was a prototype G60 used at VW’s test facility in Ehra-Lessien, where it set six internal class records in 1988.

Meanwhile, VW is showing off its production bona fides with a “World Champion” edition Beetle. The special edition was created to commemorate the Beetle becoming the best selling car of all time in 1972.

The company is also showing off the 1949 Karmann Cabriolet and the 1950 Hebmuller Cabriolet to celebrate 70 years of drop-top Beetles.