September 7, 2004

Audi A4: Systematic Safety
Source: Audi AG

The new Audi A4 remains faithful to the manufacturer's best tradition of safety. After all, its predecessor was one of the very best in its class in this respect. A rigid body structure and meticulously calculated deformation properties, in conjunction with ultra-modern restraint systems - such as the new two-stage front airbags - and outstanding technical concepts such as the sideguard head-level airbag system, created an outstanding level of occupant safety.

The floor assembly, where large-volume sills with an internal aluminium profile and sturdy cross-members direct and absorb the impact energy, provides a sound basis. The crash-optimised B-posts, which have received several detail improvements, also contribute towards stability. The effective protection offered by the Audi A4's body has been affirmed in extremely tough crash tests simulating side-on collisions with SUVs..

The seats also make a valuable contribution towards occupant protection. The front seats are integral steel structures with extremely rigid cross-bracing. They thus largely retain their shape in a side-on crash. This is of crucial benefit in keeping the survival zone intact.

A new addition to the list of standard safety equipment are active head restraints on the front seats, which increase protection in a rear impact most effectively. A seat belt reminder system is also part of the standard specification on all new Audi A4 models.

Sideguard as Standard

In addition to the large-area front airbags, the occupants are protected by several side airbag systems. In the event of a side impact, remote sensors transmit signals which are compared with those from the sensor in the central airbag control unit. 

The risk of injury to the torso and pelvic regions of the body in a side crash is above all reduced effectively by the thorax/pelvis side airbags integrated into the front seat backs. Rear thorax/pelvis side airbags are available as an option for the outer rear seats.

The head and neck regions benefit from sideguard, a unique safety extra not just in this vehicle category. This head-level side airbag system covers virtually the entire side window area, from the A-post to the C/D-post. 

A hybrid gas generator inflates the airbag, which then remains inflated for several seconds. This ensures that sideguard's protective effect is also preserved throughout any secondary collisions, e.g. in a rollover. However, sideguard does not prevent the occupants from escaping from the car or obstruct access for rescuers.

An extensive system of crash sensors ensures that the airbags are ignited at exactly the right moment. In addition to the upfront sensors, the triggering system comprises several remote satellite sensors at the sides.

The front airbag on the passenger's side can be activated by key (option). This is an important function, particularly if a child is to travel on the passenger's seat in a child car seat. All Audi A4 models have provisions for mounting Isofix child seats on the outer positions of the rear seat.