If at first you succeed, then crash and crash again.
The European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP) is a rigorous set of tests designed to gauge how safe a vehicle is in a number of predetermined crash scenarios. It all sounds rather prescriptive and a bit boring, but it is anything but.
In fact, it makes for a rather engrossing spectator sport, seeing as the passengers are all crash test dummies, no one gets hurt in the process either. Well except for the cars, they get hurt a lot. In this case, it was the turn of Jaguar’s first-ever electric car, the I-Pace, to face the unyielding Euro NCAP barriers.
Because the crash performances need to be analyzed in minute detail each collision is recorded in slow motion. The scenes are both fascinating and a bit disturbing at the same time, it is all too easy to mentally replace the dummies with real live occupants.
The speeds at which the crashes are also not as high as one might expect; the front offset deformable barrier test is done at a mere 40 mph and the damage to the car is quite substantial to say the least. The ‘front full-width rigid barrier test’ is done at an even more sedate 31 mph. Still, modern cars are meant to deform around their occupants and the I-Pace performs well enough across the board to achieve a full five-star Euro NCAP safety rating.
The Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) procedures are far less graphic and test the system by placing dummies in front of the car at various speeds and in varying scenarios.
The I-Pace once again performs well and manages to avoid squashing the dummies under its wheels regardless of how recklessly they jump out in front of it. For a more detailed report of the I-Pace’s performance head on over to the Euro NCAP website.