The body: class benchmark for vibrational comfort|
Even in the early planning stages, Audi's body developers worked systematically on the structure of the body and simulated its reaction to movements of the suspension and the mechanical assemblies.
The result of this development process is that no unpleasant levels of either high- or low-frequency vibration reach the passenger area on roads of any kind.
Even driving pleasure benefits from the body's high rigidity because the direct steering enables the S4 Cabriolet to be guided extremely accurately around corners. This is made possible by the special steering column connection that takes account of the vibrational behaviour that is specific to convertibles.
The steering column mounting has an additional support, with the module cross-member linked to the cross-beam below the windscreen - measures that are decisive in keeping vibration at the steering wheel down to the lowest possible level.
Measures designed to increase strength and rigidity also affect the choice of material grades and joining techniques. For instance, high-strength and ultra-high-strength panels account for more than fifty percent of the bodyshell's weight.
Optimised wall thickness in conjunction with improved-quality weld points help to boost the structural durability of the body significantly. The body is in addition reinforced by a rigidly bolted-on subframe at the front, with additional diagonal struts at the front and rear.
A high level of crash protection
The Audi S4 Cabriolet's A-posts are optimised in cross-section and contain high-strength reinforcing tubes - a most important safety feature if the car should roll over.
Sills with an optimised thickness and cross-section boost the occupant cell's strength and optimise occupant protection. High-strength tubes are also used in the seat structure, as a means of enhancing occupant safety in the event of a lateral collision.
The doors in particular have to be designed with safety in mind. In conjunction with structural reinforcements in the sills and a strengthening cross-member below the rear seat, special impact absorbing beams in the doors ensure a high standard of safety. Crash resistance, even in the side impact test against a post, is on the same excellent level as the S4 saloon.
At the car's rear end, the double rear panel improves the rigidity of the body.
The comprehensive safety package contains seat belts with belt-force limiter and belt tensioner for all passengers, together with full-size front and side airbags. The side airbags integrated into the front seats are designed to protect the head and thorax.
If the car should roll over, an active roll-over protection system in the double rear bulkhead adds to the occupants' safety. In this case, two protective bars, controlled by sensors, are triggered behind the rear passengers within milliseconds. Together with the extremely rigid windscreen frame, they help to preserve survival space for all occupants if the car turns over.
The standard electronic stabilisation program ESP with hydraulic brake assist provides for maximum active safety.
More than mere weather protection: the hood
An electro-hydraulic hood, which closes at the touch of a button in under 30 seconds, is standard equipment on the Audi S4 Cabriolet. The button only needs to be pressed once to either open or close the soft top. The side windows move down and up again to aid the process, and in the Audi S4 Cabriolet there is no locking handle to be released manually or tonneau cover to be detached.
A lever in the boot raises or lowers the hood compartment, so that a much larger luggage space becomes available when the hood is closed.
A heated, scratchproof glass window is just one of the reasons why the Cabriolet's lined hood is entirely suitable for winter driving. It has three layers of cloth and is sewn to high standards of accuracy to ensure maximum occupant protection, resist climatic effects and provide a standard of acoustic insulation worthy of a premium car such as this.
The hood's linkage is barely visible when the hood is in the raised position; the tautness of the hood and the cushioning prevent any "tent ridge" effect. The shape of the roof as a harmonious component of the Cabriolet design is thus preserved at all speeds.
The hood is also completely smooth on the inside. Together with the high-quality appearance of the surface, this look underlines the luxurious overall impression conveyed by the interior ambience.
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