Crash safety tests are made to test the structural limits of a vehicle and how well the safety equipment protects occupants in the event of a crash. Of course, airbags are vital parts of the equation, and years of crash testing and real-world situations can prove that airbags make cars safer and save lives. But perhaps they aren’t as necessary as we once thought, as the Glickenhaus SCG 004 is probably the only car ever to pass a side-impact crash test without one. This colossal achievement points to how important structural integrity is for a vehicle.
Glickenhaus SCG 004: How It Passed Without Airbags
The SCG 004 is on its way to becoming a road-legal supercar, which means it must pass all the IIHS crash safety tests. With a carbon-tubbed car, designing crash structures and mounting points for airbags is challenging, which is why more focus was done on the vehicle’s structural integrity. A carbon fiber cross member in the doors adds extra strength and rigidity and is what helped make up for the lack of side airbags.
The carbon fiber used in the SCG 004 is unique because of its pre-impregnated. This refers to a process of preparing the carbon fiber by adding the resin to bond the fibers together at the time of assembling each part. Rather than hand layering the resin later. This same process is used in manufacturing aircraft bodies and improves the strength-to-weight ratio since each strip of carbon weave has precisely the right amount of resin and hardener.
Glickenhaus has designed the SCG 004 to be modular, meaning everything from the bespoke carbon fiber body panels to its carbon-fiber passenger cell can be replaced and upgraded as needed. For customers that intend on taking these cars to the track, that means faster and easier trackside repairs.