Article Search


Emphasis on strong passenger safety cell


FG Falcon engineering

FG Falcon engineers concentrated on designing a state-of-the-art passenger safety cell.

Ford Australia’s chief of virtual engineering, Adam Frost, says most people “equate the safety of their vehicle with visible features such as airbags, stability control systems and brakes.

“While that combination of active and passive safety features is extremely important, the true heart of crash safety is the design and strength of [a car’s] passenger safety cell.

“The design of the structure and energy absorbing load paths, the strength of the steel used, and the positioning of the petrol tank, all significantly contribute to reducing the likelihood of injury during a crash.”

Introducing a new front subframe and an improved connection of the front bumper beam to the rail of the FG Falcon, along with additional reinforcement inside the front rails, all contribute to transferring some of the load in a frontal offset crash to the non-struck side of the vehicle, reducing damage to the footwell.

The possibility of steering column intrusion has been reduced by an optimised A-pillar section that results in lower deformation during a crash. The A-pillar’s design also reduces rotation and twisting during a crash.

A larger, stronger B-pillar section and the use of an ultra-high strength Boron steel B-pillar reinforcement provides an upgraded side structure for improved side crash protection.

The car gets new high strength floor cross members and transmission tunnel reinforcement, along with an extension to the rocker panel from the A-pillar through to the C-pillar; they all reduce the velocity and intrusion from a crash while redirecting the load away from the occupants.

The FG Falcon uses a developed version of Ford’s Intelligent Safety System. It combines latest generation safety devices and electronic management tools that combine state-of-the-art restraint systems with intelligent monitoring of crash severity and occupant positioning. Door pressure sensors and dual upfront sensors provide earlier detection of potential crashes.

Frost says the sensors “literally hear the [crash] occurring through pressure waves – before the panels have even started to deform”. They also provide enhanced discrimination between different types of crashes to determine the level of response required.

Most crashes occur in less than 100 milliseconds, so the ability to rapidly differentiate between types of events is extremely important.

Auto Trader New Zealand