Jules and Midge have been doing some chassis tweaking, but will it make a difference where it counts? Time to find out as Jules’ Suzuki Alto and Midge’s Daihatsu Sirion hit the handling course at Donington Park.


Jules and Midge have been doing some chassis tweaking, but will it make a difference where it counts? Time to find out as Jules’ Suzuki Alto and Midge’s Daihatsu Sirion hit the handling course at Donington Park.

Posted by Fast Car Magazine on Wednesday, 18 September 2019


What does a five-star crash-test rating mean?

Although we often don’t think about it, vehicle safety is a major part of engineering and designing a car, truck, or SUV. Yet, we simply look at a star figure and make our judgments. 

What exactly does a five-star crash test rating mean? It’s the descriptor so many brands will use to underscore vehicle safety in advertising, and Jason Fenske of Engineering Explained is here to, well, explain it.

First, we need to point out this video involves NHTSA crash testing. The insurance-funded IIHS does things differently, but the NHTSA is the official U.S. government safety score. The agency looks at three areas: a frontal crash, side-impact crash, and a rollover crash. Two crash test dummies are placed inside the car for the frontal test, and after the crash test is complete, official take measurements and gather information.

The information they gather helps paint a picture of the likelihood a driver or passenger would sustain injuries in the particular crash test. On the five-star scale for the frontal rating, a five-star rating means there’s a less than 10 percent chance the driver or passenger would sustain major injuries. Moving down to a one-star rating means there’s at least a 40 percent chance of a major injury.

Tesla Model 3 NHTSA test

Tesla Model 3 NHTSA test

It’s important to note that it’s difficult to compare vehicle safety based on frontal crash-test ratings. Only cars with weights within about 250 pounds of each other should be compared since a heavier and lighter vehicle involved in a crash will behave very differently.

The side-impact test follows a nearly similar formula, which involves two tests. The first is a crash test mimicking a car slamming into the driver’s side of the vehicle, while the second looks at a different scenario. Here, the test calculates how a car crashes if the driver loses control and slides off the road into a telephone pole. Once again, the star rating amounts to the probability of a serious injury occurring as in the front crash test. Unlike the frontal crash test, we can compare safety regardless of weight because both tests are exactly the same.

2013 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive NHTSA crash test (Image via crashnet1.com)

2013 Smart Fortwo Electric Drive NHTSA crash test (Image via crashnet1.com)

Finally, the rollover rating. The scenario is where the vehicle slides off the side of the road, and in the process, proceeds to roll over. There’s a big difference in this test, though. Unlike the front and side crash tests, the star rating is based on the probability of the vehicle rolling over—not sustaining major injuries. Here, the agency looks at a car’s static stability factor (track width and a center of gravity’s height). Thus, a wider car with a bigger track width has a lower probability of rolling over compared to a more narrow vehicle. On the other hand, a car with a lower center of gravity is also less likely to roll over.

The star rating still follows the same probability factors. One star means there’s a 40 percent or greater risk, while a five-star rating leaves a less than 10 percent risk.

After all of the tests, the crash-test ratings will be calculated and tallied into an overall rating to give cars an overall rating of, say, five stars. Dive into more details on how crash tests and ratings work in the video above.


Macan Tuning

“Thank you for reading our Porsche Macan tuning tips.”

We review Macan tuning and show the premier modifications for your car. Porsche Macans provide a fun base for your project and with carefully chosen modifications you can certainly maximize your driving enjoyment.

The Macan is a awesome project car to carry out. The key to Macan tuning is getting your choice of modification right – a lot of money can be wasted if you do it wrong.

Tuning tips and articles

Engine tuning Transmission tuning Care care Intake & exhaust mods Improve handling Forums

Handling/Suspension upgrades

Handling modifications are top of many to do lists for the Macan.

If you set the toe out to 1 to 2 degrees on the front, and add some negative camber then cornering will substantially be enhanced.

We would go to a maximum drop of 26mm – 35 mm. on most models. You risk grounding out if you go lower than this.

Our aim in Macan engine tuning should be to increase peak power and Torque at the top end.

With our recommended mods you can change your Macan into a really fun car, potentially beating bigger engined cars on the track.

Smaller engines do not provide much of a return in terms of power so start with a bigger engine. Engine swaps are a good option if you have a small engine size.

Tuning modifications.

These are the performance parts are usually installed by our members, decide how far you want to push your car before you get started.

Getting the right sports mods for your planned usage of the car is essential. Stage 3 competition upgrades just don’t work well on the road and will make the car undrivable.

Stage 1 mods: Lighter flywheel, Sports exhaust, Panel air filter, Suspension upgrade (drop 26mm – 35 mm.), Alloy wheels, Remap.

Stage 2 mods: fuel pump upgrades, Ported and polished head, high flow fuel injector, Fast road cam, Power/Sport clutch.

Stage 3 mods: Adding or upgrading forced induction (turbo/supercharger), Sports gearbox, Competition cam, Internal engine upgrades (pistons/head/valves), Engine balancing.

Peak power is good on competition cars but for a daily driven car you need a long power band and perhaps extending the rev range.

The whole point of our guides is to give a starting base of modifying mods and point you in the right direction, our forum is the place to go for detailed advice and tips on your tuning project, the best modified modifications and all aspects of modding cars.Fast road cams offer one of the biggest bhp gains for your money as far as a single performance mods goes on a NASP engine.

It improves the intake and exhaust flow and increases the power if done right. Ideally you’d add other mods and finish up with a reflashed ECU. TorqueCars would caution you not to go with a competition cam as this upsets the engines idling and general town driving characteristics.

Don’t forget to increase the fuelling when you are increasing the power – it makes the car more thirsty.

Using higher octane petrol is another option if you find you are suffering from pinking or premature ignition on your Porsche project after fitting other modified mods. Higher capacity injectors will enable you to supply sufficient fuel to the engine.

If have increased your fuelling with bigger injectors you will also need to get a bigger fuel pump to supply it.

Intake and Exhaust Tuning.

The next area for modification is the intake and exhaust. Contrary to popular belief there is often very little power gain achieved by fitting an induction kit, they only become beneficial and are recommended after you raise the engines power to the point where the standard air intake box cannot cope!

Derestricting the flow of air into the engine is the primary part of tuning so get a better flowing air filter if you find that the car is running lean only if you find the car is running lean. Induction kits can sound sporty but due to the warm air in the engine bay they will not do much to increase power and often rob you of power on most cars.

Sports exhausts can usually air flow out of the engine but avoid an exhaust that is too wide or you could will reduce the flow rate. Stick to 1.5 to 2.5 inches for best results.

Getting a professionally flowed (ported and polished) head with larger valves can fully maximise your power gains. A good triple plate fast road uprated clutch will help to keep that power going where it should. Never make false economies or expect the standard clutch to cope. The best mods in our experience for your Macan are fast road camshaft, remap, induction and exhaust, suspension.

NASP engines do not achieve big power gains if you remap them, unless you have done extensive modifications. With turbocharged engines this is another story. A remapped turbo will give big power gains and take full advantage of the strength of the block.

We’ve also seen some tuners experimenting with twincharged conversions and making some very high power figures.

Adding forced induction will see massive power gains but this is usually too expensive to be cost effective. It is often simpler to bolt on a supercharger than it is to get a turbo working. Turbos increase power in increasing proportion to increasing engine speed and this can make mapping difficult.

It is more straightforward to map a supercharger because the boost is proportional to engine speed on a linear curve. Adding forced induction will generally require a lower compression ratio or water injection.

Alloy wheel upgrades.

The benefits of alloys include lowering your unsprung weight and more efficient brake cooling. Further improvements can be made to your cars handling with the addition of directional tread pattern tire. We’d like to point out although they can look cool on the Macan large alloy wheels will actually decrease your performance. The larger you go the lower your acceleration will be – this to the change in your effective final drive ratio.

With this in mind try to keep the overall rolling diameter of the wheel the same as supplied from the factory. In all cases without going larger than 19 inches.

For more information on Tuning your car please join us in our friendly forum where you can discuss Macan options in more detail with our Macan owners. It would also be worth reading our unbiased Porsche tuning articles to get a full grasp of the benefits and drawbacks of each modification.

Please help us improve these tips by sending us your feedback in the comments box below.

We love to hear what our visitors have got up to and which mods work best for them on each model of car. Comments are used to improve the accuracy of these articles which are continually updated.

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