We waited quite eagerly for EuroNCAP (and also NHTSA) to crash test BMW’s new electric city car, the i3. Being the first application of a carbon fibre monocoque chassis in a compact car without a B-Pillar, it would be interesting to actually quantify BMW’s efforts in revolutionizing the megacity-car of tomorrow, in terms of safety, other than efficiency, performance and user-friendliness.
The i3 performed brilliantly in the head-on collision, side barrier, pedestrian and child-seat tests, but offered only “weak” chest protection in the more severe pole side impact tests. Also, the front seats and head restraints provided “marginal protection” against whiplash in a rear-end collision. Precious points were also lost, as the i3 doesn’t offer a standard rear seatbelt reminder. This resulted in a total performance worthy of four, out of five, stars.
In any case, the results are quite good, given the fact that the i3 doesn’t have a B-Pillar and that the chassis is made of CFRP and not steel, thus the mechanism of energy dissipation is completely different, as it relies on the materials high strength and stiffness, rather than its deformation ability, which is the case with steel. Click more to see the videos of the test performed by EuroNCAP, as well as the results in detail.
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