In a development that should surprise no one, Tesla earlier today announced that the Model X is now the only SUV in history to attain a 5-star crash rating across every test administered by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While it’s easy to get bogged down with Tesla’s focus on raw acceleration and the company’s ongoing effort to bring autonomous driving to the mainstream, it’s important to remember that the company is perhaps more obsessed with vehicular safety than anything else.
Tesla made a point of noting that one of the reasons why the Model X performed as well as it did is because of its low center of gravity, a result of the vehicle’s hefty battery pack being positioned on the bottom of the car and thus lessening the chances of a rollover incident in a crash.
“NHTSA’s tests assess both the structure of the vehicle,” Tesla added, “which must minimize intrusion into the cabin and absorb as much energy as possible, and also the seatbelt and airbag restraint system, which must maximize injury mitigation in the event of a crash. Among the nine subcategories rated by NHTSA, including frontal impact, side impact, and pole impact tests conducted on both the driver and passenger side as well as the rollover test, Model X achieved 5-stars in every category and sub-category.”
All told, Tesla boasts that a Model X passenger involved in a crash has a 93% chance of walking away with no serious injuries.
A video of the Model X undergoing front crash testing can be seen below.
Of course, Tesla’s track record at this point speaks for itself. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a steady stream of stories involving Model S and Model X passengers surviving absolutely horrifying crashes. As a quick example, earlier this year a Model S got into an accident and ended up flying 82 feet in the air.
This is what the crash scene looked like, and somewhat miraculously, all five passengers in the car emerged with no life threatening injuries.