BMW i3 gets only four-star safety rating from Euro NCAP

Article by Anita Panait, on November 29, 2013

The BMW i3 has failed to get the top safety rating from Euro NCAP, scoring only four out of a possible five stars. The vehicle performed poorly in two categories -- pedestrian protection and safety assistance systems. According to Euro NCAP, the i3 scored just 57 percent in the pedestrian safety test, due to a "poor" front edge to the hood and substandard results recorded at the base of the windshield and along the "stiff" windshield pillars.

The German motoring organization ADAC remarked that these are considered deficiencies, particularly because the i3 was designed as “a modern car for big cities."  ADAC added that such vehicles should place high value on pedestrian protection. In the safety assistance systems test, the i3 scored 55 percent. Euro NCAP noted that while i3 met test requirements by offering electronic stability control as standard equipment; it lacked seat belt reminders in the rear.

Euro NCAP remarked that a system designed to control i3’s speed was not expected to reach its minimum fitment rate to qualify for assessment. BMW has high expectations for the i3, which has so far gained over 10,000 pre-orders and 100,000 requests for test drives. The Euro NCAP scores could cause some worries on the car’s safety and could discourage future buyers.

According to a BMW spokesman, the Euro NCAP results disregard steps taken by the carmaker to improve protection of pedestrians, like the i3's special brakes and sensors. He added they will first assess the test results before making a final opinion.

BMW is viewed to have spent at least EUR2 billion on developing the i subbrand, which the carmaker has trademarked through to a series number i9. The next I model to be launched will be the i8 plug-in hybrid supercar, due next spring.

The field of personal mobility, and quite possibly the world, is facing social, economic, and economic issues. There are a number of changes happening around the world like increasing urbanization, diminishing resources, and climate change. All of these meant that fresh solutions are in order and the BMW i is finding said solutions. The brand has long been known for coming out with vehicle concepts that are ahead of its time. These models showcase inspiring designs and bring with it a new appreciation of premium features that strongly hinge on sustainability.

The result of all of these is the i3, BMW i's first series-produced model. In addition to offering zero-emission mobility, the new i3 comes in a premium package that is guaranteed to deliver pure driving pleasure. This will be the first model from BMW Group to run solely on electric power. As such, customers will not only experience new and innovative driving pleasure, but also have a sense of being connected on city roads and more importantly, sustainability.

In terms of specific figures, the electric motor that powers the i3 is able to offer a maximum output of 170 hp (125 kW) with top torque at 184 lb.-ft. (250 Nm). All of that power is immediately channeled to the wheels in the rear through the single-speed transmission. The energy from the motor is taken from the lithium-ion storage that has been integrated to the underfloor section of this model.

That the design of the i3 is indeed visionary is made evident by the expected sporting capability plus the efficiency coming from a four-seater model. Both of these are genuinely clear in BMW’s latest offering. This advanced vehicle concept utilizes a passenger compartment composed of carob-fiber reinforced plastic or CFRP. This allows for stability, safety, and lightness to be combined along with the additional space.

Aside from the driver assistance systems, the new i3 also offers mobility services like the 360° ELECTRIC and the BMW Connected Drive. These two systems were made especially for the BMW i. With these, the i3 is able to offer zero-emission in urban mobility and turn it into an interesting daily driving experience.

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