G-Wiz beefed up for 2008

30 November 2007

Reva 25mph crash test aftermathIt’s extremely good to see that the deny-the-problem attitude adopted by the purveyors of the G-Wiz electric car, in the aftermath of Top Gear’s lethal-looking crash tests earlier this year, were nothing more than iffy crisis-management public relations. Behind the scenes a very sensible thing was done: Lotus was called in to make the tent-pole framework holding the body together a bit more rigid.

The G-Wiz i, available from February 2008, offers “increased front and side impact protection, a strengthened space frame, a collapsible steering column, a hill rolling restraint feature, plus new front disc brakes that deliver a 30% improvement in performance”.

The i also has a curved front windscreen. Which probably doesn’t aid safety but should make the G-Wiz look less like something built by a bloke in a shed. And lithium-ion batteries will be an option, which should allow the G-Wiz to go further, or faster, or both, (and inevitably cost more as well)

The GoinGreen web site includes a reassuring pic of a relatively unharmed G-Wiz, decked out in crash-test roundels, in broken-nose posture up against a wall. It doesn’t say how far through the test the image was snapped, mind – the crumpled car might still be moving forward...

Judging from the sticker on the car door the test was carried out in India (where the G-Wiz is assembled) at the facilities of the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI).

The GoinGreen site does come clean and admit that the test was staged at 25mph (40km/h), and looks to be against a full-width barrier, whereas the modern Euro NCAP frontal test that car buyers are familiar with involves a much sterner test of a 40mph (64km/h) impact with a partial-width barrier. The legal standard test for full-size cars, which the G-Wiz is not obliged to pass, is carried out at 35mph.

Still, any improvement is, well, an improvement.

We applaud these voluntary measures and may now even consider climbing into a G-Wiz to take a test drive.

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