The all-new Mahindra XUV700 has created a lot of interest in the Indian market. Mahindra has revealed the prices of the select variants but the prices of all the variants are not out yet. Due to the extremely-value-for-money prices, there are many who have doubts over the safety of the XUV700. Here are two videos with the Mahindra engineer who explains how well they have designed the car, especially when it comes to safety.
Sridhar, the principal engineer of Mahindra and Mahindra starts by explaining the body in white or BIW of the XUV700 in the video by MotorVikqtan. BIW is the name of the body sheet given to a vehicle without any moving parts like the bonnet or any trims like glass. Sridhar says that the BIW will absorb the force in three directions as indicated by the arrows on the BIW.
There are additional rollbars on the door sections that will absorb the energy from any crash. Mahindra has even designed the transmission tunnel to absorb the energy during a crash.
If a vehicle hits the Mahindra XUV700 from the side, the parts marked in blue colour including the seat cross members will absorb the energy to keep the occupants safe. There are yellow coloured ring structures that increase the torsional stiffness and keeps the NVH levels low.
The steering column is also collapsible and it breaks down in an event of a crash. It provides ample cushion to the driver. Even the floor pedals are designed in a way that they do not cause any injuries to the driver in an accident. The engine position is such that it will not collide with the pedals during the frontal crash.
Different strengths of the steel used
The Mahindra engineers have used different steel strengths for the chassis. This is to ensure that the vehicle has ample crumple zones and has great structural rigidity as well. Some steel used in the chassis is intentionally soft to act as crumple zones. The other parts are made stiffer to ensure that they stay rigid during a crash and saves the occupants from getting crumpled.
The brown coloured parts on the chassis show the hot-formed parts. This means that the Boron Steel material was heated before the formation of the desired shape. These parts are the strongest parts of the vehicle and can take a massive amount of force. In fact, the engineer gave a number of 1100 MPA or millimetres per area.
The parts marked in blue colour is softer and is meant to crumple during a crash. This ensures that the energy is not transferred to the cabin causing injuries to the occupants. There is ample space left in the front and rear of the engine to give space for the crumple zones to work properly. The engine mounts are designed to break during the crash which causes the engine to fall down during a crash.
Even the doors can be opened after a crash. In many cars, the doors lockout after a crash and rescuers then have to use gas cutters to rescue the occupants.
This video shows the virtual simulations of the crash. Virtual simulations are used initially during the design stage of the vehicle. This gives an insight to the engineers on how much force different materials can take and how thick or thin the materials should be for maximum crash compliance.
Once the simulation is complete, engineers make a prototype of the product. Simulation development can take up to 9 months and is done in three phases of 3 months each. Sridhar also shows how the energy is distributed during a crash on the body. The simulation shows how the XUV700’s cabin does not deform during the crash.
There are different simulations. The first simulation shows a car weighing 950 kg and hitting the XUV700 from the side at a speed of 50 km/h. Another simulation shows the Mahindra XUV700 hitting an electric pole.
Hitting an electric pole is much more critical than hitting another vehicle as the load from the crash is not distributed over a large surface. That is why a car needs to be extremely strong to survive a crash with an electric pole.
The rear crash simulation shows that the vehicle is protected with a solid floor pan and load-bearing members that ensure that crash does not rupture the fuel tank. The fuel tank of the XUV700 is made up of plastic and the solid floor pan makes sure that it does not intrude into the fuel tank and the fuel lines. Even the suspension is made in a way that it does not breach the fuel tank during an accident.
In the pre-production stage, the vehicle is sent to the government agencies like ARAI or ICAT. They test the vehicle for safety and roadworthiness before providing a certificate. Only after that, the production of the vehicle starts.