Tanjong Pagar BMW M4 crash: Was it really going at 220 km/h?

Arif · Feb 17, 2021 03:30 PM

Tanjong Pagar BMW M4 crash: Was it really going at 220 km/h? 01

On February 13, a tragic accident on Tanjong Pagar road in Singapore claimed the lives of five men in a BMW M4. The car was allegedly travelling way beyond the speed limit, crashed into a vacant shop lot, and caught on fire.

The fatal crash caught the attention of many and a Singaporean man, Ken Teng, took the time to analyse how fast the BMW M4 was going.

The car is almost unidentifiable in the extremely short video, showing just how fast the car was going. Breaking up the video into individual frames and calculating the distance travelled and time taken, Ken Teng estimated the BMW M4 was going at 220 km/h.

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Tanjong Pagar BMW M4 crash: Was it really going at 220 km/h? 01

A Singaporean analysed the video to estimate just how fast the car was going.

Our question is, how possible is that? Is there enough road for the car to reach such speed?

Tanjong Pagar BMW M4 crash: Was it really going at 220 km/h? 02

We took a look at Tanjong Pagar road on the map and there is an approximate 500-meter stretch before the beginning of the video, albeit with some slight curves, right after exiting Keppel road.

Tanjong Pagar BMW M4 crash: Was it really going at 220 km/h? 03

About 500m of road before the start of the video

Our theory is that the car started gaining speed right after exiting Keppel road.

The car in question is a BMW M4 F82 which, the last time we checked, does 0-200 km/h in 13.4 seconds, which means an acceleration of 4.146 ms-2.

With some math, and the formula you learned way back in high school physics, the car will need 372m of road to do 0-200km/h. In ideal conditions, 220 km/h is very possible for the BMW M4 in that stretch of road.

Tanjong Pagar BMW M4 crash: Was it really going at 220 km/h? 04

The formula in question, just in case you were wondering. s = displacement; u = initial velocity; a = acceleration; t = time

Now, that’s with an ideal 0-200km/h time of 13.4 seconds. With 5 people on board and less than ideal conditions, it’s fair to say 0-200 km/h would have taken 15 seconds. This assumption gives us an acceleration of 3.7ms-2.

With 0-200km/h in 15 seconds, a total distance of 416 meters is needed to sprint to 200km/h from a standstill. Quite tough to reach 220 km/h by the start of the video, but 200km/h is quite possible. The car could even still be accelerating up to the last moments before the crash.

Tanjong Pagar BMW M4 crash: Was it really going at 220 km/h? 05

We don’t really see any other possible points of entry to gain such speed at the Tanjong Pagar road. Unless you do, or have any other information on the incident, we only see one possibility for now. Also, the road isn't entirely straight, so we wouldn't be so accurate with our calculations too.

The speed limit on the Tanjong Pagar road is 50km/h, way below what the BMW M4 was doing. Drive safe and learn defensive driving techniques to keep the roads safe for all of us.
 

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Arif

Writer

Previously an engineer in an automotive manufacturing company and a highway concessionaire. A part-time research student on biofuels and diesel engines. Obsessed with vehicle electrification and the future of transportation.

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