Vauxhall New Vectra
With its extensive arsenal of ‘active’ and ‘passive’ safety features for driver and passengers, a new high strength body and the latest generation braking technologies, the new Vectra will ensure a journey for its passengers which is safe and secure – as well as stylish.

A snapshot of the safety equipment includes improved active head restraints on the front seats - and full-size front and side airbags as well as full-size curtain airbags in the front and rear.

Vectra’s stylish new body boasts levels of stiffness far in excess of its predecessor through good use of different grades of steel. Aluminium and magnesium are also used to reduce weight while enhancing safety.

Vauxhall’s patented Pedal Release System is again featured, linked to the very latest generation braking system - electronically-controlled, four-channel ABS with Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD), Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and BrakeAssist.

Body Structure Design For Maximum Safety

Engineers set out to achieve the highest possible rigidity when designing the new body. The result is a torsional stiffness 74 per cent greater than its predecessor, while the ‘bending stiffness’ has increased by 62 per cent.

High-strength and extra high-strength steels contribute greatly to the high structural strength of the new Vectra’s body. Their percentage of the total weight of materials used has increased from nine to 52 per cent. In total, 15 different types of steel are used.

Accident Protection: Maximum Passive Safety

A raft of additional safety systems ensure maximum protection for Vectra passengers, with no less than six airbags a standard feature.

Twin front and side airbags are standard on all cars, with the option of a seat occupant detector on the passenger side. This detects when the passenger seat is not occupied, to prevent the airbags inflating unnecessarily.

Full-size curtain airbags help increase protection for the driver and rear passengers in a side collision.

Passive – And Active

The front seats are also equipped with Vauxhall’s latest-generation active head restraints. Now, in the event of an accident, it is not only the inner parts of the head restraints which swing – the whole seat back moves forward to further reduce the danger of whiplash injuries.

Height-adjustable safety belts with pyrotechnic tensioners and force limiters are fitted on the front, and outer rear seats. The two outer rear seats also have children’s seat fixtures.

The driver is provided with additional protection by Vauxhall’s patented Pedal Release System which automatically disengages brake and clutch pedals in a severe impact to protect the driver from injuries to the feet and lower legs.

Braking: More New Technology

All Vectras feature large, 285mm ventilated disc brakes on the front axle (302mm diameter for the V6 versions) and 278mm discs on the rear (292mm for the V6).

A four-channel ABS system with EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution), together with the ‘self-stabilising’ front axle, ensure that tracking and stability are maintained when there are different friction levels between the left and right side of the vehicle.

If heavy braking is needed on a bend, a new innovation called CBC (Cornering Brake Control) also comes into its own. As with an ABS-based system, the CBC function senses different wheel rotational speeds and controls the brakes as they are applied to the individual wheels to help prevent the car swerving.

GSi models in the UK will get the latest-generation electronic stability program, ESPPlus.

Vauxhall engineers also paid consideration to other drivers when developing its safety credentials. Vectra’s high mounted brake light uses LED technology and has a super-fast reaction speed, quicker than conventional bulbs.

Security - Immense Immobilising

The locking and immobilising system has a large range of functions. A code for the remote-control of the central locking system (standard) ensures a high level of protection against theft.

There is also the possibility of ‘personalising’ the car with up to five keys – useful for fleets for example – where there may be one car for several users. Each key receives an automatic individual seat position setting with this feature when electric memory seats are fitted.

New Vectra’s remote controlled central locking uses ultra short-wave radio frequency signals, and does not rely on the ‘line of sight’ path to the car for it to work – meaning it operates from any point within range of the transmitter. Owners can unlock the car from around the corner, or with the key inside a pocket for example.

Be Alarmed

All the normal theft risk areas are monitored by Vectra’s state of the art alarm – doors, bonnet, tailgate, ignition and audio system. If breaking glass occurs anywhere inside the cabin, an in-car ultrasonic sensor activates the alarm.

For ultimate peace of mind (and ease of operation) the alarm is automatically switched on or off by the remote control central locking – either with the remote or with the key.

Published : 30/01/02 Author : Melanie Carter

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