Security and safety are key elements in every Volvo car. The new C70 is no exception. Safe when you need it, secure as you want it. For the convertible, innovation has taken a couple of new steps forward.
A secure and safe open car may seem like a paradox. Not with the new Volvo C70 though. It has been developed to be one of the safest convertibles on the market in terms of preventive safety, protective safety and security.
Steel roof security and a light in the dark
The retractable hardtop offers the C70 owner a dual experience: the pleasure of driving with the top down and the comfort and security of a well-appointed passenger compartment. The steel roof helps reduce the risk of a break-in.
The rear screen – made of real glass and electrically heated – is significantly larger than the screen in most convertibles for better rearward visibility and improved body rigidity when the roof is up. And up it goes in less than 30 seconds.
Security for Volvo means feeling safe in and around the car. That is why the C70 convertible also offers a number of personal security solutions. When approaching or leaving the car in the dark, the headlights can be activated for 30 seconds to light up the way, and the door mirrors provide ground lighting around the car to facilitate your movements in the dark.
A panic button on the remote control also provides an extra feeling of security outside the car.
Security in the new Volvo C70 also includes the possibility of locking away your possessions. Several of the car’s storage areas are linked to the car’s central locking system for convenient locking using the remote control. A completely new system – Private Locking – is also being launched, whereby certain areas can be locked with the key from the glove compartment. Private Locking is particularly useful in a convertible parked with the roof down.
The C70 has many innovative safety features and solutions. Some of them unique for an open car. The lack of a roof is compensated for with new technology.
Extensive knowledge about the type of accidents convertibles are exposed to and how protection should thus be built up, governed the safety development work of the C70. However, it is equally important to prevent accidents and provide a strong feeling of security.
The new Volvo C70 has an extensive system of safety solutions that contribute to safer driving, most of them standard. If, despite all this, an accident should occur, a series of protection systems come into play.
The aim was that the new Volvo C70 should offer the same effective side impact protection as other Volvo models. But without a fixed roof, alternative solutions had to be found.
For optimum protection in a side impact, Volvo’s Side Impact Protection System (SIPS) has been developed still further. In a side collision, the B-pillar (the car's middle section) is subjected to considerable force. The force is directed up into the roof structure. But this is not possible in a convertible since the pillars end at the top of the doors. Side impact protection must therefore be built up somewhat differently.
The impact forces need to be transferred elsewhere into the body structure, where an integrated system of members and reinforcements interact to keep the passenger compartment as intact as possible.
The C70 has reinforced B-pillars that are linked to each other through five strong transverse floor members. A deformation box between each B-pillar and the transverse members also helps to absorb the collision forces. The sills have a special profile and since they are raised behind the B-pillars, they offer even better protection, even if the other vehicle happens to be bigger.
The doors play an important role in side impact protection. They have diagonally mounted steel beams to prevent intrusion into the passenger compartment and are designed to remain closed when they are subjected to collision forces. The forces are distributed effectively, both forwards and backwards, into the body structure. The transverse members in front of the passenger compartment and a horseshoe-shaped member behind the rear seat transfer the forces to the opposite side of the car's body, reducing the risk of passenger compartment intrusion.
SIPS interacts with the world-first door-mounted inflatable curtain (IC) for both enhanced side impact and roll-over protection.
In the new Volvo C70, the IC is of a unique design. Since there is no fixed roof to which the curtain can be attached, it is mounted in the door and is directed upwards when activated instead of moving downwards. Therefore it has a stiff construction with double rows of slats, slightly offset in relation to each other. This allows it to remain upright and offer effective head protection even with the window open. The curtain also deflates slowly to provide protection should the car roll over. A unique solution in the automotive world.
The IC interacts with the seat belt pretensioners – on all four seats – to help provide maximum protection for the front seat occupants in a side impact or rollover accident. In addition to the inflatable curtain, the front seat occupants have side impact airbags, the size of which is adapted to cover both the chest and hip areas.
Improved roll-over protection
The all new Volvo C70 has very stable roadholding thanks to a dynamic, compliant chassis and a very rigid body. The risk of a roll-over is therefore limited but can not be ignored.
Without a fixed roof, the demands on the windscreen pillars – the A-pillars – are particularly high. These are made from Extra High Strength Steel in order to withstand very high forces in an advanced production method – so-called hydro-forming. A hydro-formed profile can be designed in one piece with varying shape and thickness along its length. The C70's A-pillars are optimally shaped without any joints or sharp angles and they run all the way down to the body sills.
Again, it is the combination and interaction of many elements that provide the high level of protection: The Extra High Strength Steel A-pillars, in combination with seat belt pretensioners, door-mounted ICs and ROPS bars.
The new Volvo C70 has sturdy metal bars that pop up behind the passengers in the rear seat to provide extra protection should the car roll over. They are part of the Rollover Protection System (ROPS) and have been developed further. They have been made stronger and are activated with the aid of a pyrotechnic charge, which means that they now work more quickly.
Front end collisions…
The new Volvo C70 has been developed to provide the same high level of safety as a Volvo sedan of the same size. The front structure is divided into zones, each with a different task during deformation. The outer zones account for most of the deformation. The more the collision forces approach the passenger compartment, the less the material is deformed. To ensure that each zone has the right characteristics, the quality of the steel has been varied. Apart from normal body steel, High Strength Steel, Extra High Strength Steel and Ultra High Strength Steel have been used.
In a frontal or offset collision the deformation zones interact with the interior restraint system – dual stage airbags, seat belt pretensioners and load limiters – to help protect the occupants in the most effective way.
…and rear-end collisions
Much attention has also been given to rear-end collisions. The rear longitudinal members are deformed in a controlled way and are linked to the body sills for distribution of the collision forces forwards in the body structure. Upwards, the "horseshoe" behind the rear seat and the double steel wall behind the backrest help reduce the risk of intrusion into the passenger compartment. If the roof is down, it acts together with the double wall to absorb collision forces.
The ROPS bars are also activated in the event of a rear-end collision, to reduce the risk of the passengers being hit by flying objects from the car behind.
Volvo's system for avoiding neck injuries – WHIPS (Whiplash Protection System) – is one of the most effective on the market and standard in all Volvos. In the event of a powerful rear-end collision the backrest and head restraint will follow the movements of the seat occupant’s body.
The new Volvo C70 is great fun to drive and in this context, body structure and chassis components are of paramount importance. The C70 has twice the torsional rigidity of the earlier C70 model thanks to a body structure that has been further developed and reinforced. Rigidity means stability and predictable driving characteristics, making the car easy to control even in unexpected situations
The chassis design, with its wide track and long wheelbase, also has a positive effect on driving stability. The DSTC (Dynamic Stability and Traction Control) stabilisation system is standard and corrects the car if there is a tendency to skid.
The Intelligent Driver Information System – IDIS – introduced in 2003 by Volvo Cars is an advanced information system to support the driver. IDIS is standard on the new C70 and continuously monitors certain functions in the car, such as wheel movement, accelerator pedal movement, indicators and braking. The information is processed and at a certain level of activity, information that is not crucial to safety is held back, such as an incoming telephone call or SMS. This can take place in a situation that IDIS interprets as overtaking or braking.
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