In recent collision testing performed under the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP), the BMW iX earned the highest possible rating of five stars, with an array of evaluations examining the response of its various systems. The iX specifically impressed in the areas of occupant protection for both adults and children, while its advanced driver assistance systems work to prevent collisions before they happen. Euro NCAP test procedures were bolstered in 2020 and now feature a vulnerable road user category in the place of the previous pedestrian evaluation, another category in which the iX also performed well, thanks to automatic braking with forward collision warning.
According to BMW, the iX received five-star ratings in all test categories of the Euro NCAP crash test. Highlights and items of note include what’s described as an interactive airbag between the front seats which provides additional injury protection in the event of a side impact. The iX also features what’s referred to as a carbon cage for the passenger compartment, which works in conjunction with an aluminum space frame. Carbon-fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) is used places such as the roof, rear, and side sections of the BMW iX to form a highly resilient structure with precisely deformation zones which absorb and deflect the force of a collision away from the interior. In the event of specific collision parameters which can include pedestrians and cyclists, the hood of the iX is automatically raised by way of pyrotechnic charges, creating a crumple zone in the process that prevents direct impact with componentry in the engine bay.
“The BMW iX sets new standards in sustainability, and its top rating of five stars in the Euro NCAP underlines the vehicle’s comprehensive sustainability concept,” says Dominik Schuster, head of vehicle safety at BMW. “The extremely stable body structure and the extended range of restraint systems ensure an outstanding level of occupant protection. In addition, the BMW iX scores highly both in the test programme and in everyday driving with innovative driver assistance systems that significantly reduce the risk of accidents in a wide array of situations.”
The video below captures the range of testing the iX was put through on the way to earning its five-star Euro NCAP safety rating. In addition to the slow motion deployment of airbags in the nick of time, the most interesting footage comes toward the end of the video, in which the automatic braking of the iX is put through its paces, bringing the nearly 5,700-pound all-electric SAV to a stop in enough distance to spare pedestrians and cyclists.—Alex Tock
[Photos and video courtesy Euro NCAP.]