Safety has become a major issue in the automotive industry, and Euro NCAP testing has become increasingly rigorous as standards become more efficient. Ford has boasted of the new Focus, one of the most powerful cars, because it was one of the first vehicles to reach the five-star rating with these revised standards. In addition to the use of reinforced materials, this improvement has also been enhanced by a series of crash tests at the dedicated center in Cologne.
"Our customers' safety is our top priority, so Ford relies on technology-laden vehicles to keep occupants as safe as possible when dealing with dangerous situations and to consolidate the design structure as much as possible – these vehicles in the event of an accident better to protect "said Helmud Reder, head of Ford's B and C division in Europe.
Compared to its predecessor, the new Focus we tested increased the front impact resistance by 40% and generally consolidated its body with 33% boron steel. This steel is one of the strongest possible and makes it possible to strongly stiffen the car on the sides. It withstands a pressure of 1100 Newton per mm², which is about three times the usual steel. It was designed in a special press, and the mark on the oval makes the comparison with the manufacture of an armor in a blacksmith shop.
The Ford Center for Crash Testing cost the brand 15.5 million euros and was put into operation earlier this year. The center can perform up to four tests per day and the cameras record 1000 frames per second to check both the reactivity of the airbags and the straps, as well as the strength of the vehicle structure and any errors. With about 70 sensors in the dummies, including about fifteen accelerometer sensors in the head, these tests allow the connection between large crash tests and virtual crash tests.
"Big crash tests provide a wealth of information, but implementation takes longer, and virtual crash tests are fast but not as reliable as they are." Our new testbed fills the gap between the real world and the virtual world so we can make faster improvements to safer vehicles. "said Stephan Knack, director of the Cologne center.