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Discussion Starter #1
The link below is to a story released today regarding new European regulations regarding the design of vehicles in europe for pedestrian safety. Although talked about for years, it seems this will mark the end of sports cars which feature traditional front engine layout. The new Esprit and Elise are safe (at least at this point) but my guess is that the M250 replacement which was to feature front mounted engine and 2+2 seating (Autocar, feb 2004) is all but dead. Russel Carr from Lotus Engineering is quoted in the story.

http://www.autoweek.com/cat_content...carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=00462702.
 

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I don't recall seeing that the new M250 would be front engine. The old design was not:

 

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Here's the full article and the link to Autoweek article:

http://autoweek.com/cat_content.mv?...=carnews&loc_code=index&content_code=00462702


WHETHER GENERAL Motors’ British subsidiary Vauxhall will build its VX Lightning sports car may not be a simple decision for the bean counters in Detroit. The fate of the sharp-edged Kappa-based creation, built as a concept for Vauxhall’s centennial celebration in May, is also tied to whether it can meet the European Union’s new pedestrian crash standards that go into effect in October 2005.

The new laws, adopted after 20 years of debate, threaten to force major restyling of everything from knife-edged front-engined sports cars to blunt-nosed sport/utility vehicles. The rules specify that any new model for sale in the EU after October 2005 must pass crash tests that simulate the impact of a pedestrian on the front of a vehicle. Approximately 30 percent of crashes in some European countries involve pedestrians, so legislators wanted to act. Think of it as Europe’s equivalent to SUV rollover rules in the United States.

To limit pedestrian injuries, engineers and designers will have to make the front of a car or SUV into an enormous, soft-crumple zone, while still maintaining car-to-car crash performance in offset barrier tests and while still satisfying low-speed parking impact protection. As a result, automakers say hood lines will rise by about 2.75 inches to provide an ample crush zone above the hard parts, like engines and suspension mounts. At the same time, the leading edge of the hood must be at least 5.9 inches ahead of the nearest hard point, such as the radiator or engine. The first rule will hurt sports car styling; the second will radically alter SUV front ends.

The ideal role model is the slope-nosed, small minivan look of the Mercedes A-Class or the Euro Honda Civic hatchback. Not encouraging if you like your sports cars low and mean or your SUVs imposing and tall.

“This is going to be a real challenge,” admits Andy Wheel, lead designer at Land Rover. “Over the next 10 years you’re going to see fundamental changes in the look of new cars.”

Adds Russell Carr, design chief of Lotus Engineering, “This is going to make a front-engined sports car with a low bonnet (hood) line very difficult to design to look good.”

Some solutions are novel: For the next-generation Jaguar XK sports car, at least for the EU, engineers are fitting the car with pyrotechnic hood hinges that blow upward to provide the necessary space between the hood and the engine in the event of a car-pedestrian collision. Jaguar isn’t sure whether the same devices will carry over into U.S. models.

Other vehicles will likely escape unscathed, like mid- and rear-engined sports cars that don’t have to worry too much about hard pieces under the front-end sheetmetal. So Porsches will generally stay the same, but not so for front-engined Mercedes-Benz and BMW sports cars, which will need to either raise the hood or lower the engine.

Some, like the Vauxhall VX concept designed by Brit Simon Cox, may try to beat the deadline by making it to market in the EU before the new regulations take effect. In that case, only significant redesigns will require the car to meet the standards. That may be the plan. GM showed the VX at the Detroit auto show, and rumors swirled that the company desperately wants the VX in production is some form—maybe as a Saab and a Saturn, as well as an Opel and Vauxhall. “Watch this space. The VX is not necessarily dead,” said Cox.
 

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Here's my proposed resolution to the 30% pedestrian involvement:

1) Pass legistlation prohibiting cars for driving on the sidewalks; or

2) Teach pedestrians to look both ways before crossing and follow up with J-walking laws.


And a few more thoughtful ideas:
a) Raise side walks 3 feet;
b) Ban all cars and sell Segways with safty nets that extude 12 inches from the Segway to "safty catch" pedestrians who still get in the way.
 

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Does this one pass?



The Euros take the fun out of everything...I think we may need to save England again:)

Patrick
2005 Elise
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Patrick,

Thanks for the Death Race 2000 pic..................LMAO

Derek,

The M250 was not supposed to be a front engined car but it's theoretical replacement, which has been mentioned several times in this forum, has most recently been defined as a 2+2 front engined/ rear drive car (see Autocar's review of the upcoming Esprit). Either Lotus is going to have to think out of the box again or the car will revert to the M250 layout and loose it's rear seats.
 

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Kinda funny how the States were picked on for silly laws, bad drivers, and useless regulations. :)

I expect the Euro Spec cars to have large foam padding on the front so can bump pedestrians.

(Seriously, this probably reflects how much that the USA is not a pedestrian oriented society compared to Europe).
 

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wtf?

at a 30% hit rate, it seems to me we should be protecting the drivers from the pedestrians....

air bags will become standard equipment on bicycles

all pedestrians shall wear helmets and body armor

dogs, too

can't wait to see what happens in the US.
 

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I guess if there are lot more pedestrians, you will have a lot more accidents. That said, I was pretty impressed when I went to Zurich last December. Even without a light, if you look like you might step into a stop walk, the cars stop. Took a little getting used to, because I would wait to see that they were actually going to stop (total disbelief) before I'd step in the street, and the drivers would look a bit miffed that I wouldn't hurry up and get across the road. :)
 

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Evl said:
I guess if there are lot more pedestrians, you will have a lot more accidents. That said, I was pretty impressed when I went to Zurich last December. Even without a light, if you look like you might step into a stop walk, the cars stop. Took a little getting used to, because I would wait to see that they were actually going to stop (total disbelief) before I'd step in the street, and the drivers would look a bit miffed that I wouldn't hurry up and get across the road. :)
Most people who haven't lived in California for a long time might find it hard to believe (incredible, actually), but that's how it used to be here. If you were near a curb at a cross walk, traffic would stop and wouldn't proceed until you crossed the street, whether you wanted to, or not. :)

Needless to say, it's a little different now.
 

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wallabyguy said:
Patrick,

Thanks for the Death Race 2000 pic..................LMAO

Derek,
Thanks Derek, I had to do a google search to find out what LMAO was, when I found out I too was LMAO:)

Patrick
2005 Elise
 

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Most people who haven't lived in California for a long time might find it hard to believe (incredible, actually), but that's how it used to be here. If you were near a curb at a cross walk, traffic would stop and wouldn't proceed until you crossed the street, whether you wanted to, or not.
When I moved to LA from NYC in 1990, I was STUNNED that drivers were so 'polite' to pedestrians. Also stunned that you could actually get a ticket for jay walking.

Getting more and more like NY, though. If I wait at the curb, maybe one car in ten will stop.

RE crumple zones mandated in Europe -- safety police are bound to bring that one here soon enough. Just like the traffic light cameras.

Speaking of which, saw City of Beverly Hills testing what looked to be a speed camera a few weeks ago on my block. Asked them what they were up to, and they said 'an experiment.' Only a matter of time.:mad:
 

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I don't think we'd end up getting those pedestrian safe designs in the U.S., since we don't have as many pedestrian-auto related accident. We've trained our pedestrians well by instilling fear into them!

Not to mention, SUVs are more popular than pedestrian in the states -and the U.S auto manufacturers would lobby pedestrians out of existance before they would redesign their SUV.

God Bless the USA! :D




PS: I'd like to get that option on my Elise.
 

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Did buble boy drive a buble car? I would like to put my Elise in a buble. Hopefully this will enable the Elise (due to its lightness) buble roll over obstcles such as cars and people.

Fiziks isnt my specialty but I guessculate no one would get harmed, (some might not even notice) all this due to surface tention phriktioning the mass distribution ocross buble media.

You also can buy a white Elise and have multiple bubles with diffrent colors (should thow the cops off).

No more having to wash your car, but never forget to get the SCUBA or SCEBA gear.

My ideas are far beyound my time or understanding (pls donate)..
 
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