Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Benefits of a Large Footprint

If you haven't seen or heard of the crash NASCAR driver Michael McDowell had during qualifying at Texas Motor Speedway recently, see the video below...it's a pretty nasty crash.

However, as you can see, he walks away from the crash basically unscathed. If you listen to the audio, the announcer Larry McReynolds (former Dale Earnhardt Crew Chief) you will hear him mention that the fact that he's able to walk away as he does (and conduct an interview about 20 minutes later!) is argument for the "Car of Tomorrow" which is about 2 1/2" taller and 4" wider - "and all those are great things."

I'm not going to make the argument that Dale Earnhardt, and Adam Petty and several others could definitely still be with us today if only they were driving the Car of Tomorrow because there are several other factors involved in crashes such as those, but driving a car that puts the driver closer to the center and is based on a larger footprint like the Car of Tomorrow (the change was based on the larger footprint of the NASCAR Trucks which had shown to withstand serious crashes quite well) plays a very important role in driver safety.

This is one case in the point of Local Motors building a vehicle based on a larger footprint, while we are also aiming to be a lightweight, excellent performing, fuel efficient vehicle.

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