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Shelby Cobra GT500 Safety
The dramatic leap in body stiffness achieved by the 2005 Ford Mustang that contributes to the Ford Shelby Cobra GT500 show car's improved driving performance has a parallel benefit in accident avoidance.

With a body structure 31 percent stiffer in torsional rigidity than the previous generation Mustang coupe, the GT500's chassis is better able to respond to driver inputs to help control the vehicle in emergency maneuvers. Many of the same structures are designed to help channel crash forces away from occupants by managing deformation and intrusion during an impact.

"The torsional rigidity of the new unibody architecture helps give drivers more control in panic situations while Ford's latest side-impact protection technologies help manage crash forces if an accident cannot be avoided," says Jay O'Connell, SVT chief vehicle engineer.

The show car's front structure is designed to absorb energy in a controlled manner and help dissipate it before it can reach the passenger compartment. The 2005 Mustang's front rails have an octagonal shape designed to distribute crash forces and progressively deform for increased protection in demanding, offset frontal crashes.

Combine a stiffer chassis with features such as all-speed traction control, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and Ford's Personal Safety Systemô, and overall passenger protection is enhanced. When you add in the driver and front-passenger side-impact air bags, the GT500 provides a comprehensive safety package.

The Ford Personal Safety Systemô

The GT500 features Ford's Personal Safety Systemô, a cutting-edge safety technology package. The system provides increased protection in frontal crashes by predicting crash severity and deploying restraint devices. The Personal Safety Systemô utilizes dual-stage driver and front-passenger air bags - capable of deploying at full or partial power - as well as safety belt pre-tensioners and energy management retractors.

Standard front-passenger classification sensing builds on the strength of the Personal Safety Systemô to tailor deployment of the front-passenger air bag. If the passenger seat sensor detects no weight - or very little weight, like a briefcase or purse - the passenger air bag is automatically deactivated. If more weight is detected on the seat, such as that of a small child, the air bag remains deactivated and an instrument panel light alerts the driver. If a larger, adult-size occupant is in the passenger seat, the air bag automatically switches on

Source: Ford Motor Company