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Watch: Simulations of cars crashing at different speeds show when things get deadly

Forget about the racing, BeamNG.drive’s crash simulator is its true calling card

There’s no shortage of racing games available today, especially if you’re lucky enough to have a gaming PC. While most people got addicted to racing games with options like Gran Turismo, Colin McRae Rally, Sega Rally Championship, or Need for Speed Underground, there are so many amazing racing games to choose from today that picking an option can be difficult. Forza Horizon is for people that hate feeling confined, iRacing is for people that feel like they should be racers, Assetto Corsa Competizione is for lovers of GT Racing, F1 2022 unleashes your inner F1 driver, and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe lets you be a kid again. The list is practically endless.

One game that you might not have heard of, but should totally check out is BeamNG.drive. While it’s fun to load up F1 2022 and attempt to do some serious driving, BeamNG.drive is more about having fun. You see, while BeamNG.drive has serious drive modes like time trials and challenges, they’re usually something odd like complete a truck delivery. And if that doesn’t work for you, the game offers and endless list of things to do with racetracks, off-road maps, and a dizzying number of driving environments. But the real thing that sets BeamNG.drive apart is its excellent crash physics.

Damage to Сars at Different Speeds (100, 200, 400 km/h) - Beamng drive

In addition to offering a wide range of cars, modes, and driving environments, BeamNG.drive has some of the most realistic physics of any driving game currently available. The makers claim that the game uses “an incredibly accurate damage model” on its Steam page and anyone that’s watched a thorough video of BeamNG.drive knows that the game’s crash physics are amazing. Go to YouTube, type in BeamNG crash, and you’ll get thousands of videos of cars crashing into one another, bollards, trees, rocks, walls, guardrails, lightsabers, you name it. There are serious an endless number of things to do and crash into.

The modding community has had its way with the game, allowing gamers to crash cars that look pretty close to real-life vehicles. We’re particularly fond of watching cars crash at different speeds. In the video above, WreckStation takes a few different vehicles – a sporty sedan, a minivan, a supercar, and a classic taxi – and crashes them into things from 100 to 400 kph (62 to 248 mph). The crashes start by hitting the side of another car, then the front, then the rear, and then moves into a hitting a dummy, and finally a bollard.

BMW X7 crashes at different speeds in BeamNG Drive

As one would expect, the crash at 62 mph is severe. The vehicles, at least in the front crash simulation, have crushed hoods and bumpers that are now located in the engine bay. Pushing the speed up to 124 mph increases the amount of damage by a wide margin. This is when the doors crumple, the hoods fly off, and the cars look unrecognizable. At 248 mph, the vehicles that crash into one another almost look like they’ve been joined together. The entire front ends of the cars disintegrate and the bodies fly down the road, joined together in a strange dance. It’s entertaining, scary, and glorious. And it’s just one of the many, many videos out there.

Of course, BeamNG.drive isn’t perfectly accurate. To see how real-life cars actually perform in realistic crash tests, you’ll want to watch videos from the IIHS. They’re not as entertaining and are far scarier, but if you want to see how physics works in real life, that’s the place where you should go to never want to drive again. Us? We’ll be scrolling the web in search of more BeamNG.drive crash montages.

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Joel Patel
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Joel Patel is a former contributor for The Manual. His work has also been featured on Autoweek, Digital Trends, Autoblog…
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