The elk test is one of the most infamous procedures used to evaluate new cars. A double lane change at 50 mph, the elk test was designed to help Scandinavian auto journalists evaluate the highway speed stability of a car, when the threat of a large animal in the road is a very real safety hazard.
The most infamous incident involving the elk test saw the Mercedes-Benz A-Class roll over during the maneuver. While it was an embarrassment for Mercedes-Benz, it had the benefit of introducing electronic stability control systems to passenger cars. 13 years later, a trio of similarly tall wagons from Peugeot, Citroen and Fiat underwent the same test in Britain, with similar results.
While the three cars are all based off the same platform, only the Fiat had stability control. While it passed the elk test, the Citroen variant suffered a roll-over, prompting Which magazine (the publication conducting the test) to suspend testing of the Peugeot, due to its lack of stability control.
Both Citroen and Peugeot say that they will be working on a stability control system for their cars. While many enthusiasts complain that these systems ruin the driving experience in high performance situations, most stability control programs can be turned off, and the elk test demonstrates how useful they are, especially in vehicles like the aforementioned vans, where the risk of a rollover in an emergency is far more likely than anyone ever driving them rapidly.
[Source: Which Magazine]