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The safest cars of 2011

Discussion in 'Model S' started by Jaff, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Jaff

    Jaff Active Member

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    Not really sure how Forbes figures this for 2011, but we'll take it!

    The safest cars of 2011Forbes - Hannah Elliott


    The results are in, and these models top all the rest in our annual ranking.
    The Tesla Model S is a four-door electric sedan set for sale in 2012. It'll go 480 zero-emission kilometres on one charge and get to 96 km/h in 5.6 seconds, all for $57,000--a bargain-basement price compared with the $87,900 Fisker Karma or the $125,000 Tesla Roadster. But Tesla Vice President and Chief Engineer Peter Rawlinson knows he'll have to convince Americans that the car is safe before he has any chance of persuading them to actually buy it.
    That's why the Model S' bare aluminum body -- and its steel bumpers -- were on clear display at the North American International Auto Show last week.
    The Model S won't be ready to undergo official crash tests for a while. But Rawlinson knows that making a safe vehicle and establishing that perception in consumers' minds is crucial for any automaker bringing a car to market today. Shoppers aren't stupid: More than 12,000 people died in frontal crashes of passenger vehicles in 2009 in the United States, the last year with complete data. More than 6,000 died in side impacts and more than 8,000 in rollover crashes.

    Looks like TM made a smart decision bringing the stripped down Model S chassis to the show!
     
  2. csummers

    csummers Member

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    I do not really see people questioning safety of vehicle before buying it. Otherwise those matchbox cars2go (Smart??)cars would never sell. Smartcar=Hummer hood ornament
     
  3. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    There is a parental segment that looks at safety as a priority. I see why they are pushing safety as it's something new and scary o the public. I'm guessing that in a few months we will see another reason to but the car and perhaps two more before it's in the stores. Each selling position gets built on the last (in the future, the crash videos will be released to verify today's claims.) Layered marketing.
     
  4. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    I was, and have been surprised to see Tesla make such bold statements about safety with Model S. If they were trying to cut costs it seems one area where they could omit some extra steps. But, Tesla is making a point to be a company that tries to offer as few compromises as possible given they are leading the way in showing that EVs can be the best type of vehicles available. Yes, it seems early on that they decided it would be an important selling point. Lets hope that all their computer models and engineering result in what they expect when they finally start to put final vehicles into actual crash tests. Sometimes I have heard of companies that didn't get the results they expected, but I gather computer models are getting better and better at such things.
     
  5. suxxer

    suxxer ElektroVolt

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  6. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    With Tesla's promotion of the jump seats for two kids "under the hatch" (as Franz put it), I've wondered if they plan to put airbags back there.
     
  7. Nik

    Nik Dreaming no more :-(

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    They're rear-facing so no need for airbags for impact reduction. As long as the safety cage is strong enough to prevent side-intrusion then shouldn't be needed. The bulkhead formed by the rear (centre?!) seats and the C-pillars ought to help significantly in this area.
     
  8. Tommy

    Tommy Member

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    Photo of the planned rear facing seats:

    [​IMG]

    View attachment 1368
     
  9. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    I was thinking of side airbags which seem to be standard on high-end cars these days.
     
  10. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    #10 ckessel, Feb 3, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2011
    Airbags are the cushion when your body is thrown forward due to an abrupt impact stop. Rear facing seats don't have that issue so there's no need for an airbag...unless you regularly drive backwards at 50 mph. :) Side airbags could be there. It's hard to tell. Depends a bit on the seat as well. If they're intended for children and have double cross the chest buckles, then they're not likely to be thrown sideways. If it's a normal 3-point belt, then I could see a higher need for rear side air bags.
     
  11. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    What if you are stopped at a light and get 'rear-ended'?
    What if your vehicle slides on ice and spins around into a wall?
     
  12. Nik

    Nik Dreaming no more :-(

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    There are seatbelts, one presumes.

    Without a dashboard to hit, there's much less of an issue, and the impact speed of these is likely to be less than in a head-on.

    Nice if they're there, but no big issue for me.

    Nik
     
  13. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    FMVSS safety tests do include rear impacts...
    9080126.010.Mini4L.jpg
     
  14. JimmWilks

    JimmWilks Member

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    Any similar image depicting the rear end of the Model S being eaten up by a truck in a crash test is going to damage the perception of the jump seats a lot...
     
  15. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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  16. ckessel

    ckessel Active Member

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    What exactly do you think an airbag is going to do in that case?
     
  17. doug

    doug Administrator / Head Moderator

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    True, but I wonder how close the passengers' head is to the sloped rear glass. Also curious of the size of the rear crumple zone. I don't think the reinforced passenger cell typically includes the space back there.

    Anyhow, it will be interesting to see video with crash test dummies seated back there.
     
  18. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Put something squishy between you and the pieces of rear window and other nasty bits being flung in your general direction.
     
  19. vfx

    vfx Well-Known Member

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    Maybe they can make a clear airbag with transparent explosives. That way it can go right on the rear window/
     
  20. TEG

    TEG TMC Moderator

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    Yeah, right, sure, or put one on the lower edge facing upwards like they do with front/dash mounted airbags...

    heap_skates_2006_hyundai_accent_gls_driver_and_passenger_airbag_deployment_image_0011_cd_gallery.jpg

     

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