Over the years, the UK's Fifth Gear has given us bucket-loads of great content. We revisit their top 5 crash tests.
Having an accident in any vehicle can be frightening, but what could be more intense than if you're in an older convertible? Fifth Gear got their hands on a Peugeot 306 Cabriolet and a Hollywood pipe ramp to simulate a high-speed rollover. Let's just say, it's recommended they be avoided for anything more than a boulevard cruise at the beach.
Next up is a vehicle that most of us barely notice in our day-to-day lives because there are so many of them. It's the humble blue-collar panelvan that makes the lives of many, from plumbers to stationery suppliers, that much easier. In this test, they rig up a panelvan and a Volkswagen Passat to a pulley-system which, when activated, will cause the two to collide head-on. At first, it seems the driver of the panelvan was okay, but it turns out, the 1-ton payload of sand in the back did him in.
Stretched limousines don't start off life with all that space between the axles. Nope, they're regular cars that are chopped up and receive a chunk of reinforced metal between the front and back of the donor car. This makes them inherently dangerous, and they don't get crash-tested either. Well, until the boys at Fifth Gear got their hands on one. To say that this front-end collision with a bulkhead at speed ends in carnage is an understatement.
Then, it's time for the Smart car crash test. Now, the reinforced safety cell of the Smart is beyond compare in its class and, considering it's made for city driving, it's proven itself at city speeds against vehicles like the Mercedes S-Class. But, how will it do against a 20-ton temporary concrete barrier at 70mph? Good question. Let's just say, that hard exoskeleton will probably fare better than your squishy insides.
And, finally, it's time to smash a Ford Focus into a giant concrete block at 120mph. The experts were convinced that the car would simply disintegrate, so they were not prepared to place the expensive dummies used in actual crash tests into the vehicle. Now for some figures. In this test, the Ford Focus decelerated from 120mph, that's 193kph, to zero in just 68-milliseconds. The occupants experienced a peak of 400Gs during that tiny amount of time and were left with very little space within the vehicle to survive.
All of these crash tests are eye-opening in their own right, so keep safe out there, friends!
Subscribe to SXdrv for more exclusive content!