The Porsche Boxster - Active and Passive Safety | Part Three

The Porsche Boxster

Porsche Boxster

VarioCam is controlled by the latest Motronic ME 7.8, which was featured for the first time in the 911 Turbo. Specially conceived to handle these requirements, the engine management system measures engine speed, throttle position, air volume, engine oil and coolant temperature, as well as the current gear selected. Using this data, Motronic determines the requisite position of the intake camshafts. Precise synchronisation of the intake camshafts on the two rows of cylinders is ensured by intelligent Motronic control, with the system also intervening in fuel/air mixture formation and ignition processes.

Featuring fully integrated on-board diagnosis (OBD), Motronic also supervises the various engine functions. Should OBD determine an engine malfunction, an appropriate message is recorded in the defect memory and a warning signal is activated in the instrument cluster. The workshop is then able to read the message with the help of a diagnostic tester, determining precisely what has gone wrong.

Active and passive safety of the highest calibre

Benefitting from its optimised body structure and the most advanced, sophisticated materials, the Boxster offers a supreme standard of body stiffness combined with relatively low body weight. Both its torsional and flexural stiffness are absolutely outstanding for an open car, clearly reflecting Porsche’s particular know-how in lightweight steel construction in an area where active and passive safety are closely connected.

At the front end of the car Porsche combines the benefits of a longitudinal and transverse structure. This combination of load-bearing elements guarantees precisely defined distribution of impact forces in a collision, three separate load levels taking up deformation energy, passing on forces to the stiff sill and tunnel areas, and thus minimising any deformation of the interior.

Areas such as the doors and bulkhead support which are particularly exposed to impact forces are reinforced by extra-strong boron steel. The Boxster is well prepared not just for a head-on, side, glancing or rear-end collisions, but also comes with a superior rollover protection system maximising occupant safety should the car ever turn over in an accident. An extra-strong tube integrated in the extremely stiff A-pillars gives the windscreen frame supreme stability, while the rollbar directly behind the seats also helps to protect the occupants’ survival area even under extreme conditions. This concept is rounded off by a superior occupant restraint system featuring not only driver and passenger airbags, but also the Porsche Side Impact Protection (POSIP) side airbag system.

continues... | Part Four
Published 2 June 2004 Melanie Carter

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