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Alfa Romeo's new baby recently got put through the ringer in the EuroNCAP crash tests and passed with flying colors. The MiTo got a Good rating for whiplash protection from the testers and five stars all around for its ability to protect passengers during a vehicular altercation. Out of a possible 37 points in the primary evaluations, the MiTo received 36, the highest ever in the small car segment. The little Alfa also topped its class with 3.35 points out of four in the new whiplash evaluation. Alfa Romeo claims to have skipped the prototype build process with this car by extensive use of simulation before building the first cars in the production factory. Those cars were then subjected to 16 months of testing prior to introduction. Hopefully, Alfa will see fit to include this MINI competitor if and when it makes a full return to the US market that it has been promising for so long. We need attractive, fun-to-drive small cars to entice more Americans away from behemoths. Seeing that they can provide excellent safety properties will also help tremendously.

[Source: Alfa Romeo]

Euro NCAP five star rating for the Alfa Romeo MiTo

The Alfa Romeo MiTo has been awarded a prestigious five-star Euro NCAP rating, setting it at the top of its segment in the field of safety. The 'sportiest ever compact car' notched up a score of 36 out of 37 in the Euro NCAP adult ratings and a judgement of "Good" (the only car in its segment to obtain 3.35 points of out a maximum of 4) in the new tests that Euro NCAP has introduced to assess the ability of the front seats to prevent whiplash".

This major accolade yet again confirms Alfa Romeo's particular commitment to all aspects relating to driver and passenger protection. The Alfa Romeo MiTo was in any case designed and built to obtain the maximum score in passive and active safety tests. Examples include the most sophisticated electronic devices for control of vehicle dynamic behaviour (from braking to traction): Vehicle Dynamic Control (not disengageable) that manages important functions such as the Hill Holder, traction control, assisted panic braking, MSR to prevent the wheels locking during over-run, 'active electronic steering' DST (Dynamic Steering Torque) and Q2 Electronic that simulates the presence of a self-locking differential electronically .

Thousands of hours of virtual simulations have made it possible to develop the car without the aid of prototypes in just 16 months. The virtues of the virtual design were then put to the test physically on cars produced in the Mirafiori plant, with two hundred tests on components and subsystems, more than one hundred impact simulations on a Hyge slide and more than eighty crash tests (frontal impact, side impact, roll-over and shunting, taking into account the various speeds at which impacts may occur, the different types of obstacle and the need to protect occupants with very different physical characteristics). These statistics demonstrate Alfa's deep-rooted commitment to making the Alfa Romeo MiTo one of the safest cars in its segment and also in the field of motoring as a whole. The new model represents the state-of-the-art as far as passive safety is concerned. Total protection, in short, as evidenced by 7 airbags as standard (two of which are Multistage); three-point seatbelts with double pretensioners and load limit limiters; S.A.H.R. (Self Aligning Head Restraint), a new second-generation device built into the backrests of the front seats that moves the head restraint closer to the occupants' heads in the event of an impact to lessen the effects of whiplash. Not to mention the contribution to occupant protection made by the body, the bonnet, the doors and the dashboard crossmember in addition to the seats and steering column, that have been designed with a view to their behaviour in the event of an accident.

In the field of preventive safety, the Alfa Romeo MiTo also offers headlights with a daytime function (known as Daytime Running Lights) that automatically turns on the side lights when the engine is turned on – to meet a specific standard that will enter into force in 2012 – and LED tail-lights that offer greater brightness than conventional bulbs, for greater safety.

Turin, 26 November 2008

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