Press Kit: Premiere of the new smart fortwo in the USA
Jan 07, 2007
The safety features of the smart fortwo: esp as standard – advanced active and passive safety
The smart fortwo has always been a car designed with a high level of safety. It is a real trendsetter in terms of safety developments in small cars. The smart fortwo has been subjected to extensive tests.
These include not only the requirements of EuroNCAP but also the USA crash regulations. Additionally, the new smart fortwo meets the extremely strict standards of the Mercedes Car Group.
The tridion safety cell protects its occupants like the hard shell around a nut. Furthermore, the metal body is additionally (up to more than 50 percent) reinforced at strategically important points with high-strength steel.
The tridion safety cell’s longitudinal and transverse members activate the crumple zone of the other vehicle involved in the accident and distribute the impact energy evenly over the car’s body. And in case of a collision, the wheels also take on the function of crumple zones. When this happens, the front wheels are supported by the side members.
Restraint system with full-size airbags
Every smart comes with full-size airbags for driver and passenger as standard. The passenger airbag (volume: 34 gallons) is located at the top of the instrument panel. In Europe head/thorax side airbags that are housed in the sides of the seat backrests are available as an option. These protect both the upper body and the head.
Belt tensioners and belt-force limiters are standard features in the smart. In case of a frontal impact greater than a defined level of severity, the belt tensioners will reduce slack in a matter of milliseconds. The belt force-limiter carefully releases more belt before too much pressure is exerted on the chest, allowing the occupants to participate in the deceleration.
esp and abs as standard
After seat belts, esp is the feature that saves the most lives. Even so, many micro cars do not even offer the electronic stability program at an additional charge. Not so for the smart fortwo: if the car should ever start to lose control, esp – which comes as standard – will kick in within a matter of milliseconds. The electronics brake the individual wheels as necessary, and throttle the engine power. esp also includes an integrated hill start assist function. This prevents the vehicle from rolling backwards as it moves off on an uphill slope.
Another part of the esp is the anti-lock braking system (abs), which prevents the wheels from blocking during emergency braking. This reduces the braking distance, and allows the smart to remain controllable even in this emergency situation. abs comes as standard and also features electronic brake-force distribution. An integrated hydraulic brake assist function also comes as standard. It automatically initiates controlled emergency braking as soon as the electronics register that the driver has pressed the brake pedal quickly, but not firmly enough. The brake assist can considerably reduce the car’s braking distance.
Side crash
Sitting approximately 8 inches higher than in a comparable small car usually means better protection in tricky situations. Thanks to the sandwich-type construction of the tridion safety cell, passengers are usually somewhat above the direct danger zone in the event of a side impact.
The smart’s wheels perform a safety function here as well. If the smart fortwo is hit from the side, its compact design is of considerable advantage. Thanks to the smart’s relatively short wheelbase of 73.5 inches, the other car will almost always hit an axle, which can then absorb a part of the impact energy.
All interior trims have been optimized to reduce injury risks to occupants. The roof bars, for example, have been made even slimmer to provide more headroom. And the soft foam-backed lower instrument panel (kneepad) offers a great deal more protection for the passengers’ knees and lower legs.
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