The new Fiat Bravo has just been awarded a five star Euro NCAP crash safety rating, placing it at the top of its category for safety, with a total score of 33 points. This is an important accolade which, together with similar ratings given to the Grande Punto and Fiat Croma, is confirmation of the Italian auto maker’s commitment to all aspects of driver and passenger protection.
In the case of the new Fiat Bravo, this commitment has yielded outstanding results. To achieve them, the designers considered every possible type of accident: head-on and lateral collisions, rollovers, rear-end collisions and fire. Other factors taken into consideration included the different speeds at which accidents occur, obstacles, and the protection of occupants with widely differing physical attributes.
In all, over 15,000 hours of computations were carried out, along with 60 crash tests, 150 simulations with the HyGe sled and 100 tests on components and subsystems. These figures are proof of the company’s resolve to make the new Bravo one of the safest cars on the road.
This remarkable safety performance has been made possible by the many sophisticated systems available with the new car. These include an array of passive safety systems, with two front airbags (the driver has a two-stage bag), two front side bags, two window bags and a knee airbag for the driver. In addition, there are three-point seat belts with pretensioners and load limiters, five head-restraints and Fiat’s FPS fire prevention system. Bodyshell elements such as the bonnet, door and dashboard cross-member also contribute to protecting the occupants. A number of other components also play a part in passive safety, such as the seats and steering column, which have been designed bearing in mind their behaviour in a crash.
Furthermore, the new car’s consistent and predictable handling means that it can absorb a certain degree of driver error and easily cope with critical situations. In addition to a high performance braking system, the new Fiat Bravo also features the latest generation electronic braking and traction control systems to ensure safe dynamic performance. These include ABS anti-lock braking with EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution) and, most importantly, ESP (Electronic Stability Program), a system that activates under near critical conditions, when the stability of the car is at risk, to help the driver maintain control of the vehicle.
The ESP system installed on the new Fiat Bravo includes a number of additional functions, namely ASR (Anti Slip Regulation), which limits wheelspin in the event of low grip road conditions; MSR (Engine Torque Regulation), which comes into play during rapid downshifts, reducing engine torque and preventing the driven wheels from locking up; HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assistance), an electronic-hydraulic system that acts in the event of emergency braking; and lastly, a hill-holder function to facilitate uphill starts.
New Bravo is therefore a car designed and built to attain the highest standards of safety and reliability. This guarantee of peace-of-mind is attracting growing public approval, as demonstrated by the 9,500 orders for the new car received to date in Italy, the 620,000 visitors who attended the recent ‘Open Doors’ initiative held by Fiat dealerships there, and the 350,000 web ‘surfers’ taking part in the Quellichebravo blog. This remarkable reception bodes well for the car’s forthcoming debuts in the main European markets. New Bravo’s French launch date is 17 March, followed shortly afterwards by introductions in Switzerland, Holland, Germany and Spain. New Bravo goes on sale here in the summerPublished 2 March 2007