New Fiat Ulysse | Part Four

Storage

An essential ‘weapon’ in the armoury of any modern MPV, the new Fiat Ulysse comes with no fewer than 35 diverse storage compartments. They include a lockable, illuminated glovebox, a refrigerated compartment for three cans, 11 cup holders, four bottle holders and five coat hooks. On Eleganza and Prestigio versions there are storage boxes under both front seats and the middle seat of the second tier, aircraft-style tables, an umbrella recess, a moveable refuse container, and a baggage retaining net.

Safety

The new Ulysse is at the top of its category in terms of passive, active and preventive safety. It meets preventive safety needs with an adjustable cockpit that adapts perfectly to drivers of any size. The extensive glazed area, tinted to reduce glare, allows the best possible view of the road ahead. And user-friendly ergonomics allow drivers to operate all instruments and controls without taking their eyes off the road.

Passive Safety

Fiat’s new MPV offers optimum protection with regard to passive safety. It has passed the most severe crash tests and offers a wealth of standard equipment.

Two multistage front airbags and twin front sidebags are complemented by two, full length air curtains protecting side passengers in all three rows of seats. Three-point inertia-reel seatbelts and full size head restraints are fitted throughout, with pretensioners and load limiters (except for the middle seat of the second tier and third tier of seats). Electric child safety locks and ISOFIX attachments combine to make the Ulysse a particularly safe environment for the young. And an electric door lock system can be set to operate automatically when vehicle speed exceeds 6 mph. In the event of an accident, the doors release automatically and the fuel flow is cut off – the new Ulysse features a fully integrated Fire Prevention System.

Front Airbags

The driver and passenger front airbags are Multistage units, designed to operate independently of each other. When the impact is of moderate force, the system opens only to the first of two stages whilst, during more serious collisions, full deployment takes place. The airbags may, however, be activated independently of each other, dependent on the nature of the impact. In every case, braids inside the bags ensure maximum bag dimension and final shape are as non-invasive as possible for occupants.

The front passenger airbag may be deactivated manually via an ignition key switch on the fascia. Though the pretensioner remains active, a rear-facing baby seat can therefore be safely fitted.

Front Side Airbags

The Fiat Ulysse comes with two side airbags fitted as standard to the front seats of all models. They are located inside the seat squabs to ensure optimum efficiency regardless of occupant stature, position and seat adjustment.

Roof Airbags

Full length, roof airbags, fitted as standard to all Ulysse models, deploy from the roof lining to provide protection to passengers’ heads along all three seating tiers in the case of side impact. Opening from top to bottom to remove the risk of secondary damage to occupants’ arms on activation, the bags are faster to inflate and less invasive than comparable systems in this segment. In the event of a broken window, the side curtains maintain their position over the full length of the glazing, even without support.

Central Control Unit

These comprehensive passive systems are supervised by a central control unit which constantly monitors signals from various sensors throughout the new Ulysse: Two-way accelerometers and central panel sensors are responsible for activating the side and curtain airbags. A Crash Severity Algorithm identifies crash severity and controls the Multistage front airbags. An Early Crash Sensor located behind the radiator grille allows the front airbags to deploy fully even before the occupants have begun to move. And seat belt fastening detectors recognise an unharnessed passenger, modifying the airbag deployment to compensate for the higher risk of injury and deactivating the seatbelt pretensioner.

Regardless of impact, the central control unit will not activate a passive safety system if the relevant occupant is in no danger of striking the car interior. The unit will continue to function in the event of electrical system failure.

A diagnostic device memorises any fault in the airbag systems, whilst indicating it with an illuminated red symbol on the instrument panel.

ISOFIX Attachments

The Ulysse is fitted with ISOFIX attachments to all outer seats in the second and third rows, thus guaranteeing the correct use of child seats. The bracket sizes and settings are to European standards to ensure the seat may be re-used in any other car.

Central Locking With Deadlocks And Child Security Lock

The new Ulysse’s central locking system benefits from the inclusion of deadlocks and an electrically operated child security lock which immobilises the sliding rear doors, second row electric windows and second and third row sunroof. The door and tailgate lock system can also be set to operate automatically at speeds over 6 mph.

continues... | Part Five
Published 13 February 2003 Melanie Carter

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