The 2012 Tesla Model S is a four-door electric car set for sale in 2012. However, Tesla Vice President and Chief Engineer Peter Rawlinson is aware that he’ll need to persuade Americans that the car is very safe before he has any opportunity of advising them to buy it.
As far as I know, Tesla Model S will go 300 zero-emission miles on one charge and get to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds, all for $57,000–a bargain-basement price compared with the $95,900 Fisker Karma or the $109,000 Tesla Roadster. And the Model S’ steel bumpers and its bare aluminum body were on obvious display at the North American International Auto Show last week.
We then excluded all crossovers, SUVs and pick-up trucks as a way to limit our list to vehicles. Then we extracted any model that did not obtain perfect scores of “good” in all front, side, rear-crash and rollover tests, or any that lacked electronic stability control, which IIHS says considerably reduces crash risk. The cars still standing after all of that are our winners.
Front evaluations include a 40-mph frontal offset crash and subsequent slow-motion film analysis to analyze how well the restraint system controlled dummy movement during the crash. Side evaluations are depending on crashes where the side of a car is struck by a barrier moving at 31 mph. In the roof strength test a metal plate is pushed against the roof at a rate of 0.2 inches per second. To gain a top rating for rollover protection, the roof must bear a force of four times the car’s weight before reaching five inches of crush.
Many small cars are particularly nimble and flush with advanced, effective safety technology. And good brake system and emergency handling can help any driver avert an accident.