Euro NCAP Quadricycle Crash Tests: Disaster Strikes

Euro NCAP Quadricycle Crash Test 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
Euro NCAP has recently strayed from its usual business of bashing all sorts of cars against its official walls, with the safety body taking on quadricycles. Not unexpectedly, the results are rather terrifying, but before we move on to this dark side of the story, let’s define the sub-species first.
Quadricycles are a sort of crossbreed between motorycles and cars, usually marketed as convenient and economical ways of transporting yourself through the city. They are street-legal and fall into two main categories: light quadricycles and heavy quadrycicles. The first are limited to 45 km/h (30 mph) and can have a maximum weight of 350 kg (770 lbs). Those exceeding any of the aforementioned values fall into the second category.

The safety body has devised a series of tests dedicated to this kind of vehicles, so do not expect their ratings to be comparable with the car-related ones we know. The quadricycles crash into a honeycomb element attached to a concrete barrier at 50 km/h (31 mph). There’s also a side impact, which sees a honeycomb barrier being driven into the quadricycle at 50 km/h. As usual, the dummies do all the work, but the vehicles are also evaluated based on how their structures and restraint systems perform.

Until now, these four-wheeled creations only had to pass the minimal safety requirements set by European legislation for heavy quadricycles, which were much less severe than what the Euro NCAP put them through.

Like we said, the results are frightening for quadricycle drivers, with all the models tested showing severe safety issues. Nevertheless, there are significant differences in terms of protection, depending on the tested models.

Coming from a carmaker who’s obsessed with five-star safety ratings, the Renault Twizy leads the pack, earning 6 out of 16 points. While the protection for the head was “Good” and that of the torso was “Marginal”, the neck and upper leg areas come with “Poor” protection. Alas, the aforementioned score only refers to the frontal impact. The Twizy actually came in last when subjected to the side impact test, with 7 out of 16 points.

The Tazzari Zero, which looks a bit like a smart or a Toyota IQ, follows, with 4 out of 16 points. The details? “Marginal” protection for the neck and upper legs, as well as “Poor” protection for the torso and the head. For the side impact, the Zero was awarded 8 out of 16 points.

Another quadricycle with a car-like appearance is the Ligier IXO four-seater, which only received 2 out of 16 points. This little thing came with “Marginal” protection for the upper legs and neck, while offering “Poor” protection for the torso and head. When it came to the side impact test, the IXO received 7.9 out of 16 points.

The same score was offered for the Club Car Villager 2+2, but this is a vehicle that looks more like a golf kart. This one should definitely stay on the golf course, since it offers “Poor” protection almost all the way, with the only exception being the neck (“Marginal”). For instance, during the frontal impact test, the car behaved in a manner that resembled the steering wheel delivered an uppercut blow to the driver. Howerver, this turned out to be the best-performing vehicle of the lot in terms of lateral impact performance, with 9 out of 16 points.

You can check out the quadricycle crash tests in the video below. While these aren’t for the faint-hearted, being far more violent than what we’re used to seeing in car safety assessment clips, we have to keep one thing in mind - you wouldn’t want to see such tests being performed with motorcycles.

Still, while it is understandable that such vehicles can’t cheat physics and may never offer the protection of a car, but it is also clear that carmakers could seriously improve their crash performance. Time for investments then.

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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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