Big Versus Small: Top Marks for Occupant Protection in the Audi A3

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November 9, 2004

Source: Audi UK

All-round protection of a high calibre – this is what the comprehensive safety concept of the Audi A3 stands for. In an unconventional test, the compact sports car with the four-ring badge again demonstrated its above-average potential to protect its occupants: the A3 achieved impressive marks in a crash test involving a truck.

The Dutch test and research institute TNO simulated a laterally offset frontal impact with a heavy truck with underride protector; the speed of impact was 60 kilometres per hour. The Audi A3 emerged from this unusual test in remarkably good shape: the A3’s passenger compartment was barely deformed, there was only minimal deformation to the footwells, and the windscreen survived the collision intact. The risk of injury to the occupants was correspondingly very low. This was confirmed by the TNO’s measurements, which were well below all the statutory limit values.

The outstanding level of occupant protection afforded by the A3 is attributable to the high-rigidity body with defined deformation zones. This is complemented by active occupant protection systems such as three-point automatic seat belts with belt tensioning and belt force limiting, as well as large-area full-size airbags for the driver and front passenger. An ingenious system of sensors permits much more efficient triggering of these active restraint systems. There are six sensors in all – on the left and right of the radiator grille, in the B-post and in the rear wheel arches – distributed around the car.

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