SIDEGUARD represents crucial progress in the occupant safety area. As already for the A8, the Audi head-level airbag system can now also be ordered for the A4 and A4 Avant as an optional extra. It covers the head area for front-seat and outside rear-seat occupants. In addition to the standard side airbags integrated into the backs of the front seats, SIDEGUARD covers most of the window surfaces and even part of the side windscreen frame. Thus, not only the pelvis and chest areas, but also the shoulders and head are provided with the best possible protection in a side impact when the airbags are actuated.

SIDEGUARD is integrated invisibly into the roof lining. Within a fraction of a second, triggering of the airbag produces a "cushion" that is approximately 15 centimetres thick. Its chambers remain filled for about five seconds, to enable SIDEGUARD to offer protection for a longer period in the event of the vehicle subsequently rolling over. The harmless propellant gas then disappears automatically, so that occupants are not obstructed when trying to escape from a crashed vehicle and helpers are not hindered in their rescue efforts.

The A4's bodyshell has also been reinforced in the area of the B-pillar to provide more protection in a side impact. This reduces the depth of penetration, dissipates impact energy more evenly, and measurably reduces the loads on the car's occupants.

Of course, front airbags for the driver and front-seat passenger and pyrotechnic belt tensioners for all three-point belts are part of the standard protection equipment.

Another new feature in the occupant protection area is provision for deactivating the front-seat passenger's airbag. This is necessary if a child's seat is to be installed facing backwards on the front seat. The front-seat passenger's airbag can be turned off and on using the car's ignition key at a switch in the glove box. Deactivation is displayed by an additional indicator light.

Yet another point worth mentioning: The bodyshells of all A4s have been prepared to accept child's seats using the ISOFIX mounting system. The Audi dealer has various suitable ISOFIX seats.

1999 Mid-Year Changes Introduction
Design: sporty and elegant
Inner beauty as well
Progressive infotainment
Extensive chassis modifications
Safety and SIDEGUARD
Varied choice of engines

The equipment specification and data given refer to models available in Germany. Audi reserves the right to make changes. Errors and omissions excepted.

Copyright (c) 1999 AudiWorld