The New XJ - The Most Advanced Jaguar Ever - Safety Features | Part Six

Safety And Crash Repair

The new XJ features a comprehensive array of passive safety technologies, including Jaguar’s sophisticated Adaptive Restraint Technology System (A.R.T.S.) but at its protective core is the strength of the aluminium body.

"Our target in developing the new Jaguar XJ was to produce one of the world’s safest cars," explains David Scholes, XJ Chief Programme Engineer. "And the body structure is the foundation of its excellent safety performance."

The new XJ has excellent crash protection and repair credentials, the aluminium-intensive body structure having already proven its strength in Jaguar’s own ‘real-world’ crash-test programmes. Prior to the first XJ prototype crashing into a barrier, Jaguar engineers performed more than 500 computer-simulated crash events using sophisticated crash-modelling software and this was followed up by physical tests.

Being lighter than the equivalent steel body, the XJ body structure carries significantly less kinetic energy into a collision, reducing the amount of energy that has to be absorbed by the body in an accident. Front and rear crush zones in the body structure absorb crash energy progressively while protecting the integrity of the cabin, and the ‘tube-in-tube’ propshaft features built-in crush properties to absorb collision energy.

In addition, the new XJ has excellent side impact protection, resulting from a very strong centre pillar with a wide, tapered base, extruded aluminium lateral floor reinforcements, and door beam extrusions.

The architecture of the new XJ is engineered for ease of repairability, a key factor in the determination of insurance premiums. Engineering techniques used include a bolt-on front-end module – BOFE – that is designed to reduce the cost of repairing front-end collision damage. This can withstand an impact of 10 mph (15 km/h) without structural damage being inflicted, the assembly incorporating impact-absorbing properties between the front-end module and the body shell.

The exterior bumpers of the new XJ are designed to withstand a 5 mph (8 km/h) impact without structural damage. Made from injection-moulded plastic, they incorporate side markers, fog lamps, headlamp washer jets and parking aids.

In addition, 'lift-off' door hinges make removal simple if collision repair is needed, reducing time and cost, while the bolt-on front wings are easy to remove and replace – another labour cost saving for the owner.

The insurance industry in the UK and Germany has already recognised the value of these combined efforts, the new XJ having been given insurance group ratings better than direct competitors from Mercedes and Audi.

As with all new Jaguars sold in Europe, the new XJ comes with Total Care which incorporates a three-year unlimited mileage vehicle warranty.

continues... | Part Seven
Published 3 December 2002 Melanie Carter

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