• Apr 18, 2007

We get the whole omelet and broken eggs equation, but after seeing all the photos of Enzos wrapped around poles, we still find it hard to wrap our own heads around the notion that someone would take a million-dollar exotic and purposely crash it into a wall.

Unfortunately, the realities of safety certification demand that even an exclusive and expensive supercar like the record-shattering McLaren F1 still needs to be tested, to some extent, for road worthiness.

The video after the jump shows what happened – or rather, what didn't happen – to the supercar as it was crash-tested at the Motor Industry Research Association (MIRA) facility in England. You'll notice how the front structure of the Macca's carbon fiber monocoque chassis absorbed all the impact, leaving the rest of the car intact. Amazingly, the car was reported as the only car ever to be driven away from a MIRA crash test.

Warning: If you suffer from a heart condition, polarized emotional tendencies or depression, Autoblog does not advise viewing the video after the jump. Viewer discretion is advised.

[Source: Motor Authority]



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  • 19 Comments
      • 7 Years Ago
      This test looks like it's nowhere near the speeds of a IIHS crash test.
        • 5 Years Ago
        thats because this is the High Speed Camera View. At Normal Speed, the Crash only lasts a few seconds.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Actually the statement that it was "driven away" isn't 100% true. Gordon Murray (the designer) said that the XP2 test mule didn't have an engine fitted. It had a ballast weight to simulate one. It *would* have been able to drive away if there was one present.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Not to take anything away from the car but doesnt everyone realize that it was able only because it has a rear mounted engine unlike other cars with front mounted engines. If the engine was mounted on the front of the car the base structure might have survived but the car would still have needed to be towed away. The amazing part was not that it was driven away but that it took so little damage.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Yes, but the car's design is such that it can drive away from such a crash. Why would we hypothesize possibilites for how the car isn't designed?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Screw the crash test; they should have given that car to people below the mclaren poverty line: LIKE ME!!
      • 7 Years Ago
      Wasn't there a "Big Mac" that crashed on the Nurburgring or some other track, at well over 100 or even over 150, and the professional driver walked away from the flipped and destroyed Mac.

      This car was noteable for the occupant safety cell made of aluminum honeycomb substrate and carbon fiber.

      F1 cars may disintegrate to absorb energy, but the driver's tub and roll structure stays intact, as the rest of the car tears away... That looks like what happened here, where everything forward of the safety cell, aside from the front suspension completely crushed. Isn't that what "crumple zone" means?

      If something like that were to happen on a real street, the body might be in bad-looking shape, but the car would protect it's driver, and not go wildly out of control.

      One has to give big props to Gordon Murray, Peter Stevens, and the rest of the very few designers that made the McLaren F1 such an amazing machine. No "committee think" whatsoever, just pure engineering and soul poured into the design.
        • 6 Years Ago
        The driver who crashed was none less than Bernd Pischetsrieder, former CEO of BMW and then VW, with passengers, on a public highway. The car was flipped and totalled, but everyone walked away unscathed. The official police report stated 75 mph (due to a very generous charitable donation), but he was driving much faster.
      • 7 Years Ago
      that was a real real expensive crash test.

      http://www.burnedbytheman.com
      • 7 Years Ago
      Excellent craftsmanship.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Honestly I'm bothered by this test because as a rule of thumb the less damage to the car, the more to the person (all other forces being equal). I'm sure you've noticed how F1 cars disintegrate on impact to protect the driver. I imagine the number of Enzo losses is also higher because of the energy absorbing safety enginering (granted there were high speeds and bad decisions involved too).

      Note that it says the car drove away, it doesn't say the scores were actually good. I'll be glad to be proven wrong on that, but I don't think we're looking at this very critically.
      • 7 Years Ago
      noooooooooooooo
      • 7 Years Ago
      Or my 5300 lb Chevy? People walk away from accidents in that beast all the time.
      • 7 Years Ago
      In this case, you get what you pay for.
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