• Jul 15, 2009
Tata Nano European crash testing - Click above to watch the video after the break

To all those who thought reports of the Tata Nano passing European crash testing were worthless without pics, we now have a few of those plus one better: Video. It seems the actual Nano submitted for the 50 km/h side impact test and 56 km/h offset frontal impact test was a mildly fortified unit with some extra foam added to the cant rail (the structural member supporting the B-pillar), a reinforced front longitudinal structure, and some added structure behind the front bumper and in the front doors. A remotely-triggered airbag was also fitted for this test.

These comprehensive modifications were apparently enough to prompt Nic Fasci, the U.K. engineer running the tests, to say, "It looks no different from other cars doing this test. It's a good crash." Tata believes these results bode well for its chances of putting the Nano on European roads by 2012, when the Indian automaker is expected to debut a slightly larger version of the diminutive car complete with a full slate of safety equipment, including fully functional airbags.

Click here for a full rundown of the Tata Nano's European crash testing results and click past the break to watch the video. Hat tip to Darren J!



[Source: Automotive Engineer via TataForum.com]

Video:


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 31 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      small foot well may be a problem, but otherwise the car did OK
      • 5 Years Ago
      Put a Hayabusa engine in one and have fun.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Wow, this is impressive!

      To be honest, I was expecting Nano to fold up like China's Brilliance sedan did during it's crash. The fact that it maintained structural integrity while crash zones worked as designed is impressive.

      Looks more likely that Tata is serious about bringing Nano to Western markets.

      Whether they succeed in Western markets or not, this is good news for the Indian motorists. The fact that more & more cars sold in India now meet Euro crash safety metric makes the roads there a little safer for everyone. Designing for stringent western safety standard forces manufacturers to adhere to same standards for domestic production.

      I think when Mahindra's truck makes the trip to US, it might also make good score on crash tests.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Heard at the end of the clip: "It's all still there!" Evidently the testers were hoping it would crumple just like everyone else who can't get their heads round why someone might need a small, cheap family car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I wouldn't want to crash into a concrete wall with a Nano. Look at the interior picture the crash test dummy's ankles are broken for sure...
        • 5 Years Ago
        You wouldn't want to crash into a concrete wall in any car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Ugly and stupid car, wait til someone drive 75 mph cash into one of this car.
        • 5 Years Ago
        This car doesn't go 75mph. Theoretically the maximum nano-to-nano crash speed would be at 65mph (x2 in crash forces if head-on), the vehicle's top speed. It's a freakin' city car for crying out loud!
        • 5 Years Ago
        People generally buy city cars for, er ... well, city driving. Not entering the Gumball Rally. Can you get past the "one-vehicle-for-everything" mentality?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well I do know that an eggs shape is pretty strong on its tip, so that good.

      I would be interested in seeing the forces exerted on the occupants since it doesn't look like much deceleration happened at impact, it just deflected. I'm sure the accident is worse than it looks for that reason.

      When do they side-crash this vehicle?
        • 5 Years Ago
        ?? From what I can see, all the deceleration happened at impact. It was moving forward, and then it stopped, the back wheels hopped to the side. It was no longer moving forward. It's not like it went further into the barrier.

        You can make the frame as rigid as you want, you'd have to, but what makes these tiny little cars dangerous is the lack of space to put crumple zones, which, amongst other things, lowers max deceleration.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Bird, i think we are basically saying similar things, but using different definitions of terms.

        Other cars, say the 2008-9 Ford Taurus that is one of the best vehicles ever tested by the IIHS, slows down a considerable amount while impacting the barrier. It doesn't deflect its momentum away from the barrier, the crumple zones absorb the energy. This car due to its small crumple zone area and stiff cabin chassis and low weight when impacting the barrier is deflected in another direction which causes that force from the change in direction to be applied to the occupants of the vehicle. This is why I said I would like to see what level of deceleration force the occupants were subjected too. Sudden changes in direction can cause massive amounts of damage to brains, spines, limbs, etc. The keys to a successful crash test is creating a cabin that is solid as to not come in of the occupant while slowing the cabin down over the longest period of time possible as to not introduce too drastic of accelerating/decelerating forces on the occupant. This car has one of those pieces, but not both.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Unfortunately, like with the smart crash footage, this shows a crash test scenario, not a real crash. In a real crash the concrete wall would be also moving and would plow right into and drag the nano instead of a rebound. Still impressive for such a small car but I'm hesitant about it's safety.
        • 5 Years Ago
        "In a real crash the concrete wall would be also MOVING and would plow right into and DRAG the nano instead of a rebound."

        LOL on that - moving concrete walls... :)
        • 5 Years Ago
        So that you know, car manufacturers begun to oppose to the introduction of deformable barrier crash tests - because they yeld worst results than the non-deformable barriers used earlier.
        Moving barriers or not, that's irrelevant - what matters is the combined speed, and there's a reason tests are made the way they are - they mimics real life conditions based on statistics and, anyway, cars withstanding higher speeds means their passengers won't - that's the reason cars seem so fragile today, compared to just a few decades ago...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Hey, if Tata can get this thing to Western safety levels, they might have a shot with it. Still though, I'm not convinced I'd want to be in one. Especially in DC, where people tend to get in a lot of wrecks!
      http://www.cargurus.com/blog/2009/07/15/how-are-the-drivers-in-your-city/
      • 5 Years Ago
      ...I'm going to go watch some Chery crash tests to make up for how anticlimactic this one was.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, the car held together. I'll give them credit for that.

      With such a small crumple zone, the G forces must be off the charts (even worse in a head-on collision with a larger vehicle).
        • 5 Years Ago
        I think the car's light weight has something to do with that. Less mass hitting the barrier = less energy to absorb/deflect.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Cool, been waiting to see this. Next, I want to see it get t-boned by a F-350 Super Duty 4x4 Crew Cab.
        • 5 Years Ago
        And i would like to see the F-350 Super Duty get smashed by a Freightliner carrying a full load.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I'd like to see a freight train crossing a bridge that gets taken out by the Queen Mary II...
        • 5 Years Ago
        Alex, and i would like to see the Freightliner t-boned by a freight train.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, then you can wash the Nano off the windshield like a bug...
        • 5 Years Ago
        funny is that it wouldn't be that bad if the Queen Mary II was to hit the Nano itself crossing a bridge, since the Nano would probably just fall into the water.
        • 5 Years Ago
        And I'd like to see the Queen Mary II it hit by a meteorite the size of a Tata Nano.
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