Safety faces itsowntest
The bar is soon to be raised beyond basic impact protection, writes Paul Gover
IT’S five stars all around in the latest series of crash testing by Euro NCAP, involving several likely showroom stars in Australia, including the Hyundai ix35 and Suzuki Swift.
The Citroen C4 and Honda CR-Z also make a maximum score in the test, proving the quality of the latest newcomers but also highlighting shortcomings in the NCAP system.
At the same time as revealing its latest result, Euro NCAP says it will have more detailed ratings available from October and plans to test its first electric vehicles before the year’s end.
The secretary-general of Euro NCAP, Michiel van Ratingen, says: ‘‘The results show manufacturers are rising to the challenges of Euro NCAP’s new rating scheme and are continuing to make safety a priority.
‘‘The Honda CR-Z demonstrates that good all-round safety needs not be compromised by a fuel-efficient petrol-electric hybrid.
‘‘Several manufacturers are expected to release fully electric vehicles in the near future. Euro NCAP is poised to test them to ensure high safety standards are maintained, with the first results expected early in 2011.’’
The five-star scores reflect the standard fitting of electronic stability control on three of the four test cars, though it is optional on the C4 in some European countries.
‘‘Euro NCAP’s requirements on ESP have encouraged much broader fitment of this important technology by car manufacturers,’’ van Ratingen says.
He also highlights the changes with NCAP ‘‘Advanced’’, which will look at technology beyond actual impact protection.
‘‘The C4 was the only car to be rewarded for an active, driver-set speed-limitation device which assists drivers in maintaining a safe driving speed.
‘‘ Euro NCAP believes that car manufacturers who are committed to safety need to be justly awarded with a good overall rating and is encouraging all car manufacturers to reach such good results in the future,’’ he says.
‘‘I’m looking forward to the launch of Euro NCAP Advanced.
‘‘The new assessments will broaden the scope of our safety assessments and will greatly enhance the infor- mation we are able to provide to consumers. It is reassuring that, as well as developing these new advanced technologies, manufacturers are not neglecting fundamental crash protection and today’s results show that carmakers are still striving for the very best levels of protection.’’
Full marks: the Honda CR-Z is among cars to pass Euro NCAP crash tests with flying colours.