One Shell of an Idea

Wed, 09/09/2015

A Subaru WRX used for crash testing in Japan has avoided the crusher to become a travelling exhibit, highlighting the strength and crashworthiness of the brand’s vehicles.

The WRX was used for side impact crashworthiness testing at Crashlab in Japan and would normally have been headed for the recycler.
But a project led by Subaru Australia’s Business Development Manager for the Preferred Collision Repairer Network, Andrew Minns, has seen the WRX reborn as a structural shell that clearly shows the sheer strength of Subaru cars.
Andrew said: “The objective was to highlight the strength of our vehicles and show how energy is absorbed and redirected around the passenger compartment.
“Every Subaru has a cell that comprises what we call ring-shaped reinforcements, which are clearly marked by the coloured sections in this WRX shell.
“These are made of high strength steel, capable of absorbing tremendous amounts of energy that can ultimately help reduce or event prevent occupant injuries in heavy collisions.
“The network of reinforcements is a major contributor to the five-star ratings for occupant safety achieved by every new Subaru.”
After being shipped from Japan, the car was initially dismantled at Subaru’s Training Academy, at Lidcombe, NSW, under the guidance of Training and Network Engagement Manager Gary Pearce, allowing apprentices a valuable insight into the construction of cars.  
The shell was then transferred to L & M Smash Repairs at Seven Hills, NSW, which is one of Subaru’s network of preferred repairers.
In a process that took around six weeks, the damaged driver’s side of the car was fully repaired and sectioned to showcase the varying high strength steel locations. 
It was then transferred to the BASF Refinish training facility at Wetherill Park, NSW, for painting – with the ring-shaped reinforcements colour-coded.
Once complete, the WRX shell made its public debut at the Collision Expo in Melbourne and now has a growing number of commitments at trade shows, dealer customer events and training programs.    
Andrew added: “It’s permanently mounted to a trolley, so is easy to move and transport.”
Andrew and his team are now busy planning phase two by adding the vehicle’s deployed airbags to the shell, showing the impressive level of coverage they offer in the WRX, which has a five-star rating for occupant safety from the Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP).  
Any organisations interested in displaying the shell can contact Andrew on 0438 236 739 or email – he can coordinate transport, set up and also attend events to talk about the amazing Subaru safety story.