The innovative technologies packed into BMW's new i3 electric vehicle weren't enough to give the small hatch a top safety score, missing out on impact, safety assist and pedestrian measures.
The official Euro NCAP report, handed down today, notes that while the i3 offers good protection to occupants in head-on and side barrier collisions, the more severe pole-impact test caused damage to the test dummy's rib section.
The i3's front-seat head restraints were also found to offer marginal protection against whiplash. Europe's top safety body also criticised the lack of rear seatbelt reminders, and for offering poor pedestrian protection.
The small new EV, due to go on sale in Australia next year, scored 86 and 81 percent in adult and child occupant protection, but scores fell to 55 and 57 percent for safety assistant and pedestrian safety features.
It is unclear whether the i3's European safety score will carry over to the Australian market (ANCAP often adopts Euro NCAP scores if the Euro and local models share identical specifications), although it is possible changes will be made to the i3 before it reaches our shores.
The i3's construction technologies include an extensive use of carbon fibre and aluminium, with its passenger compartment - dubbed 'Life module' - made entirely of carbon fibre.
The i3's Assist Safety system also offerscontact with a 'Response Specialist' in the event of an emergency.
Ford's new EcoSport, launched in Australia this week, was also awarded a 4-Star Euro NCAP rating, but it is again unclear if this score will carry over to Australia.
The EcoSport scored an excellent 93 percent for adult occupant protection and 77 per cent for children, while winning praise for its performance in the tough side pole test.
But, like the i3, the EcoSport was penalised as part of an upgraded Euro NCAP testing criteria, which prioritises rear seatbelt reminders, speed limiting functions and greater pedestrian protection.
With ANCAP's slightly different criteria, Ford Australia remains confident of a 5-Star score for the local market.
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