By on September 24, 2013

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First photos and now surveillance video of a dramatic wreck involving a Lamborghini Aventador and what looks like a Mazda, in Brooklyn’s Mill Basin neighborhood, have been bouncing around the ‘ol innerwebz because the Lambo split in two, right behind the passenger safety cell, as it was designed to do. The driver was apparently unhurt and you can see him walk away from the accident in the video. Somewhere, Bela Barenyi is smiling. It was Barenyi, working for Mercedes-Benz in the early 1950s, who invented the concept of building a car with front and back “crumple zones” that would deform and absorb energy in the event of a collision, protecting the passengers in a more rigidly constructed, non-deformable safety cell.

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By the way, contrary to some reports, it wasn’t the collision with the other car that broke the Aventador apart. It was the corner of the brick wall that the $400,000 supercar hit sideways that  tore the back end off of the Lamborghini, not the initial collision with the Mazda, which sent the sports car spinning into the wall. Witnesses say that the sedan was attempting to make a left turn into a driveway. The Mazda’s driver was either distracted or apparently misjudged the closing speed of the Lamborghini, “approaching at a high rate of speed.”

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Bela Barenyi’s 1950 drawing laying out the crumple zone / safety cell concept that likely saved the life of the Lamborghini driver.

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22 Comments on “Lamborghini Splits In Half. Somewhere Bela Barenyi Smiles...”


  • avatar
    doctor olds

    “I didn’t hurt anything but my wallet!”

    • 0 avatar
      skor

      I live in the NYC area. Cars of this type are almost always owned by the sons of Arab oil sheiks, nouveau riche Chinese businessmen or UN diplomats from one of the “Stans”. In many cases the cars have no insurance, or valid registrations…hell, many times the drivers have no DLs. Since the local media have failed to report anything about the Lambo driver, I’m guessing this is the case. Daddy will just buy a new one. These people have big wallets and will hardly notice.

    • 0 avatar

      I know a guy with a lime Green Murcielago and he lives in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn. It makes NO SENSE AT ALL, to have any car of this type here in NYC because the streets will literally destroy the car. I rented an orange Murcielago for a weekend and returned it a day early because I didn’t want them keeping my deposit if they checked it for damage and found some. The car was almost undriveable unless I was in Long Island. Sure it was nice to have people looking, but the car has horrible blind spots and terrible city handling. The Aventador handles better in the city – like a small Audi.

      Rich people around here mostly pick an E, C or S-class – or the BMW/Audi equivalent. I see more and more Maseratis though.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    These recent articles are just making me want to submit something, I’m tired of seeing articles that cover something Jaloponik coverd days ago.

    Is it me it did Honda intentionally typo their latest Honda Accord ad with “Accprd”?

    • 0 avatar
      jz78817

      no kidding. if you can afford a Lamborghini, you can afford another one.

    • 0 avatar
      ash78

      But with Jalopnik’s new interface, it takes days to find anything, so it’s a wash.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Unless you want to read something about trains, the space shuttle, video games, or something linked from Jesebel.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        You raise a good point, in todays online sites its very pleasent to see TTAC keep its layout over time while yahoo,youtube, Jaloponik, and all the others flip flop everything every 2 weeks.

        That and it helps that TTAC doesn’t post random articles on video games.

    • 0 avatar

      Please submit something to Jack and Derek and if it’s worthy I’m sure they’ll consider publishing it.

      You raise a valid point, but just because Jalopnik or Autoblog runs a story doesn’t mean it isn’t newsworthy. We try to inform our readers without too much “me too” stuff, but because of the beat we cover, we’re bound to duplicate other publications’ coverage from time to time. On some stories, we’re a couple of days ahead of the other car sites. On others we might lag a day or so. For the most part, though, I believe when it comes to straight news, we generally run stories ahead of the other two big car blogs, Jalopnik and Autoblog. The ultimate goal is to keep our readers generally well informed on what’s going on in the automotive world. Comments on our news items are way, way up, so it looks like most of the B&B approve of how Jack & Derek and the rest of the team are doing automotive news. Of course, even if it’s the same topic as discussed on other sites, we, and our advertisers, would rather for you to read about it here. Hopefully, we add something original, like the historical material about Bela Barenyi in this post.

      Thanks for bringing the topic up. Your comments will not be ignored. I’ve been around TTAC since Farago was in charge and the current management is sincerely dedicated to listening what our readers say so that we can make TTAC even better.

      • 0 avatar
        kkt

        I don’t regularly read other automotive news sites, so I am glad of seeing important stories run here, even if they aren’t scoops.

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          I see the important part of this comment as “important.” Posting a video isn’t important, even if the story is making the rounds through all the news channels.

          More thorough, educational, and generally non-intuitive insights into the stories that other sites publish would make these posts much more important, IMO. That’s why I come to TTAC.

      • 0 avatar
        Ryoku75

        And thank you for such a polite response, Ash78 brought up a good point that here at TTAC theres often less clutter compared to other sites, I read Jalop and TTAC frequently and I can say that while Jalop gets more articles in more often, TTAC does a better job at quality control with its articles.

        I should also mention that thanks to TTACs clean layout its one of the few sites that I browse easily without adblock.

        For the time being I’ll get to work on a few articles that I hope will make for good reads.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    This is a win-win situation.

    Win for the driver, which is not hurt as badly.
    And win for the automakers, which get to sell another vehicle which otherwise would have been on the road additional years.

    The ones shedding tears are the insurance companies….

  • avatar
    VelocityRed3

    I hope the Mazda owner has one of the “big” insurance companies like Allstate, State Farm etc. Otherwise they might get totally shafted. If I was some small local insurance company, I might look at this potential 500,000 (wait until the lawyers/doctors get involved with a car accident where the car split in two!)or more claim & tell the insured to try to sue me. It might be cheaper.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      I don’t know what the insurance laws are in New York, but in Massachusetts and New Jersey, it doesn’t matter how big the insurance company is: if you hit your liability limit, they’re done and you’re on the hook for the rest. My hope is that the Mazda owner is a homeowner with a blanket liability policy; not many people carry enough collision liability to replace a totaled Aventador.

      • 0 avatar
        skor

        It looks as though the Lambo was speeding. If that’s proven in court, the Lambo driver will be found partly liable. That’s how it works in New York courts. It may be different in Banana Republics…..or Texas.

      • 0 avatar
        redav

        Also, good luck to the Lambo driver getting money out of an individual. Once insurance runs out, he’ll likely have to resort to personal lawsuit, and then even if he wins, he still may not be able to recover the award.

    • 0 avatar
      chevron

      As I understand, the insurance company will reinsure that risk (of losses over 100k for example), so it shouldn’t matter too much.

  • avatar
    Bearadise

    Fortuitous camera placement.

  • avatar
    Jeff Waingrow

    BTW, if you think the Lamborghini wasn’t speeding, you’ve never lived in Brooklyn.


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