A range of ratings for American muscle cars – IIHS News

A range of ratings for American muscle cars – IIHS News


When people think about sports car
performance, safety ratings aren’t the first thing to come to mind. So, for the
first time, we’ve put a trio of iconic muscle cars through their paces to see
if they’re as safe as more traditional cars. We tested the 2016 Chevrolet Camaro,
the Dodge Challenger and the Ford Mustang. None of these vehicles earn
TOP SAFETY PICK status. The Mustang was redesigned
for the 2015 model year, and it’s just one rating away from
earning TOP SAFETY PICK status. If it just improved its small overlap crash
performance from acceptable to good, it would be there. It also earns
good ratings in our four other crashworthiness evaluations,
and it has an available forward collision warning system to help
keep you out of crashes in the first place. The Dodge Challenger wasn’t up to the challenge
in the small overlap frontal crash test. The big problem was
that this wheel was pushed back into the lower occupant
compartment, collapsing the footwell around the dummy’s leg and foot. In fact, we
had to unbolt the dummy’s foot from the leg in order to get the dummy out. A real driver would
have had serious leg injuries from this crash. The small overlap frontal crash test is especially
challenging because only a small part of the vehicle’s front end has to deal
with the energy of the crash. This type of crash accounts for about 25% of
the serious and fatal injuries in frontal impacts. The Chevrolet Camaro was
redesigned for 2016, and it stood out with a good performance
in our small overlap frontal crash test. You can see that the safety cage was
well-maintained, and the injury measures on the driver dummy were all low. Still, the Camaro doesn’t earn our TOP
SAFETY PICK award because it earns only acceptable ratings for
roof strength, and GM doesn’t offer it with a front
crash prevention system. Given that sports cars have high crash
rates, it’s especially important that they offer their occupants the best
possible protection in a crash.

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