The Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon: Safety

The new Alfa 159 Sportwagon

Alfa Romeo 159 Sportwagon

The new Alfa 159 Sportwagon shares its platform, as well as both frontal and passenger compartment bodyshell structures with the Alfa 159 saloon - the latter having recently been awarded the prestigious 5-star safety rating from Euro NCAP, as well as four stars for child occupant protection - placing the Alfa 159 Sportwagon at the top of its category in terms of passive safety.

It also meets preventive safety needs with an adjustable cockpit that adapts perfectly to drivers of any size. The combination of a height adjustable driver’s seat and reach and rake adjustable steering, allied to an extensive glazed area, allows the best possible view of the road ahead. User-friendly ergonomics allow drivers to operate all instruments and controls without taking their eyes off the road. And the all-round visibility of the new Alfa 159 Sportwagon is further enhanced by the availability of optional rain, dusk and parking sensors.

Passive Safety

Within an all new bodyshell designed to provide impressive torsional rigidity - 135,000 daNm/rad - yet absorb impact with maximum efficiency, the new Alfa 159 Sportwagon may be fitted with up to eight airbags, seven of which are standard equipment, whilst height adjustable front seatbelts with pretensioner and load limiter, anti-whiplash front seat head restraints, three-point rear seatbelts, anti-submarining front seats, ISOFIX child seat attachments and an FPS Fire Prevention System are all fitted as standard.

Airbags

The new Alfa 159 Sportwagon can be equipped with eight airbags; driver and passenger dual-stage front airbags, driver and passenger knee airbags, front side airbags, as well as two side curtain airbags providing head protection in the case of side impacts. Their operation is controlled by an electronic control unit that evaluates crash severity via a number of sensors located throughout the car.

The front passenger airbag may be deactivated manually via an ignition key switch on the fascia. A dashboard warning light indicates this condition. Though the seatbelt pretensioner remains active, a rear facing baby seat can therefore be safely fitted.

ISOFIX Attachments

The new Alfa 159 Sportwagon is fitted with Isofix mountings to ensure the easy and safe installation of child seats. The attachments take the form of two pairs of brackets located at the base of the two outer rear seat squabs, and a third, centre seat upper attachment. The bracket sizes and settings are in accordance with European standards so that the seat can be re-used on any other vehicle.

continues... | Part Two
Published 7 June 2006 Melanie Carter

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