December 13, 2005 In a world of testosterone and adrenalin, it’s easy to concentrate on how powerful a car is rather than how clever. Well, we’re about to address that by bestowing our highest on order of merit upon the new Citroen C6 executive saloon which recently became the first car to be awarded a maximum 4 star Euro NCAP pedestrian safety rating, as well as a maximum 5 stars for occupant protection, making it arguably the safest car on the road. The decision to award the highest combination of pedestrian, occupant and child (4 stars) protection for the Citroen C6 is largely thanks to the debut of its Active Bonnet system. During an accident, the lack of space between the bonnet and the engine increases the likelihood of a serious head injury for the pedestrian. In the C6, intelligent software automatically raises the bonnet by 65mm in the event of an accident to provide previously unavailable impact absorbing space. The whole process takes less than 0.04 second.
The Active Bonnet is just one part of an exceptional safety package, which also offers nine airbags, active head restraints and ESP with traction control as standard. Further safety features include a Head-Up Display, allowing drivers to keep their eyes on the road at all times, a Lane Departure Warning System and xenon directional headlamps.
This Euro NCAP ‘first’ for the C6 is the latest in a whole stream of major safety advancements for Citroën. The C2 and C3 were among the very highest scoring cars in their class when tested and the C4 was one of the first two cars ever to achieve 3 stars for pedestrian safety. The Citroën C5 is the highest scoring car in its sector, boasting an unbeaten 36 out of 37 safety points, whilst the C8 was the first MPV to achieve a 5 star occupant protection rating.