Safety First

NHTSA looks to add new advanced driver assistance tech to testing regimen

Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 delivers new safety and driver assistance tech to the company's 2021 model lineup.

Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A. Inc.

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has made public a list of proposed upgrades to the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP). NCAP testing addresses the crashworthiness of a vehicle as well as the vehicle's headlight functionality. These new proposed measures go even further, putting driver assistance and safety technology to the test.

Automakers often strive to achieve the highest score possible in NCAP testing, wearing their five-start safety ratings and Top Pick designations as badges of honor in marketing campaigns.

"Thanks in part to NCAP, new vehicles today are much safer than a generation ago," said NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens. "Even so, there are still too many fatalities and serious injuries in crashes every year, so it is critical that vehicles keep getting safer in the future, and a modernized NCAP will better enable American families to select vehicles with the safety features they want."

The immediate planned update to NCAP testing includes four advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS): lane keeping support, pedestrian automatic emergency braking, blind spot warning, and blind spot intervention. Engineers have designed these four specific technologies to mitigate high-frequency and high-risk crash types.

NHTSA is currently seeking public input on how best to develop a rating system for ADAS technologies.

"These upgrades will make NCAP more dynamic," Deputy Administrator Owens said. "American car buyers want safety, and NHTSA wants to empower them with comparative safety information about vehicles in the market. This information creates powerful market-based incentives for automakers to invest in advanced safety technologies that will save lives and prevent injuries."

The NHTSA began testing vehicles in 1978. The first tests examined frontal impact protection and used data from crash test dummies. The five-star safety rating system was established in 1993 and have been steadily increasing the scope of the testing over the last two decades.

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This 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV sold for a high sum.

Photo courtesy of Automobili Lamborghini

This month, two 1970s-era Lamborghinis crossed the block, each achieving a record selling price. But, not all that glitters is gold. Both models have what RM-Sotheby's terms "a troubled history".

The 1971 Lamborghini Miura SV is chassis #4980. It has been certified as one of the 150 models produced. It was set apart from other Miuras by its different cam timing and altered 4x3-barrel Weber carburetors. Its 3.9-liter V-12 engine that was tuned to achieve 380 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. When it was new, it rode on Pirelli Cinturato tires.

The year before the Miura SV debuted, Lamborghini development driver Bob Wallace modified a Miura to comfort to FIA's Appendix J racing regulations. Among the mods was the replacement of the the steel chassis and body panels with aluminum alloy versions. It as given the name "Miura Jota". The '71 Miura up for auction was altered to mimic this model during its life, but has recently been restored it its original trim.

1971 Lamborghini Miura SV

Photo courtesy of RM-Sotheby's

Following its restoration the Miura SV received its certification from Lamborghini Polo Storico.

A 1977 Lamborghini Countach LP 400 with chassis #1120262 underpinning has a similarly troubled history. It was at one time owned by Rod Stewart, but that's not the trouble. It was a victim of multiple transformations (including the roof removal), before being restored to its original specifications.

The Miura SV fetched €2.4 million, the second highest value ever for a Miura SV, second only to one sold by Gooding & Co. in London last September. The Countach LP 400 went for €775,000.

"This is a pleasing but not surprising result, since it confirms a clear trend," says Paolo Gabrielli, Head of Aftersales at Automobili Lamborghini, which oversees the Polo Storico. Historical Lamborghinis are of increasing interest to the world's leading collectors, who are looking for the utmost respect for originality in their cars. The Polo Storico restoration program, alongside supporting top independent specialists through the provision of advice, documents and original spare parts, makes it possible to obtain restorations of the highest level and quality, which are appreciated by collectors and, consequently, by the market."

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The Jeep Wrangler Dual-Door Group offers factory-backed half-door comfort, style, and safety.
Photo courtesy of Stellantis

Jeep Wrangler owners who want an open-air experience but don't want the complete doors-off look have a new from-the-factory option. Jeep Performance Parts and Mopar have worked together to create new half-doors for the iconic SUV.

The new Jeep Wrangler Dual-Door Group features two factory engineered, tested, and backed half-door options that offer owners the option to have production-level styling, security, and occupancy protection in addition to improved visibility.

Available for both two- and four-door Jeep Wrangler models through the Mopar Custom Shop, as part of an original new-vehicle purchase in the U.S. and Canada, the new Jeep Wrangler Dual-Door Group includes both full and half doors. Full-steel production doors are installed on the vehicle while matching body-color half doors are packaged within the vehicle.

    Jeep Wrangler Dual-Door Group

    Photo courtesy of Stellantis

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    With production-level materials and build quality, new half doors are designed to work when equipped with any of the following features: power mirrors, blind-spot detection, passive and non-passive entry handles, and power locks. A quick and easy swap from full doors to half doors can be accomplished within minutes using the existing hinge locations and the exact same wiring connections.

    The newly developed upper-window assemblies are designed to have a weather-tight sealant feature zippered plastic windows. Two materials are offered for the assemblies: base-model vinyl that matches the production soft-top roof or premium acrylic that matches the premium soft-top roof.

    Each upper-door frame section uses an easy, tool-free, dual-guide post feature for easy installation and removal.

    The Dual-Door Group is now available on two- and four-door Jeep Wrangler Sport, Rubicon; Sahara, Rubicon 392, and 4xe models. Factory-option pricing for the U.S.s tarts at $2,350 for the two-door's Dual-Door Group with base-model upper-window assembles while the four-door costs $3,995. Checking the box for the more premium version of the upper-window assemblies moves the price tag up to $2,550 for the two-door and $4,395 for the four-door.

    Warranty coverage for each Dual-Door Group option is included as part of the new-vehicle warranty of three years/36,000 miles.

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