C4 VTS gets standard laminated side
27th March 2006.
Despite the very significant advances
in active and passive car safety, there are and will
always be many ways to improve, and more often than not,
in too obvious, yet, overlooked areas.
Take the glass for example. We got used
to the additional protection of laminated glass for the
windscreen only. Constructed of a polyvinylbutyral (PVB)
interlayer sandwiched between two thin glass plies, PVB
laminated glass was first used (in the sixties) on
windscreens to improve safety in the event of an accident.
It is now a legal requirement.
Laminated glass was known since the
twenties, but in a simpler form with two pieces of glass
with a plastic liner in between (known as the Triplex
windshield). While the Triplex technique covered side
windows as well, it wasn't strong enough to prevent the
head (or a member) from penetrating the glass with the
neck remaining stuck in between.
C6 gets standard laminated side windows on
When the PVB laminated glass was
introduced in the sixties, it gave a far better
protection, especially that it kept evolving into
stronger, thinner and lighter forms.
However, windows remained made, since
the fifties, from tempered glass, which was heat treated
to make it break into small pieces rather than into big,
far more dangerous pieces.
Nonetheless, tempered glass presents
another big threat, which is full or partial body ejection
from the window in side accidents. And that can be
prevented with PVB laminated glass which would keep
passengers in the car.
While car burglars love tempered side
windows technology, for obvious reasons, the additional
benefit of laminated glass side windows is that it makes
breaking into the car far more difficult and dissuasive.
Latest Home Office* statistics in the
UK show that attempted ďsmash and grabĒ vehicle crime
has doubled in a decade, leaving motorists feeling more
vulnerable than ever to attack.
C5: laminated windows (Exclusive) and
other safety features (like C4 and C6)
such as the Lane Departure Warning system
Windows continue to be the weakest area
of a vehicle, accounting for 1 in 2 car crimes(1).
Yet with approaching 100 break-ins every hour in the UK(2),
at a cost of GB £1.4bn annually to the insurance
industry(3), experts believe high security
laminated glass could dramatically reduce the trend.
New research from CitroŽn has found
that 1 in 6 car owners would like to see the unbreakable
safety glass fitted as a legal standard within the next 10
However, until recently laminated glass
in side windows was exclusively limited to the luxury end
of the car market.
Recently CitroŽn became the first
volume manufacturer to introduce laminated side windows as
standard in the small family hatchback sector, on versions
of the popular C4.
The French manufacturer now offers the
technology on three models: the C-segment C4 (lower medium
category), the D-segment C5 (upper medium), and the new C6
(E-segment, Executive category). In the UK, laminated side
glass is offered as standard on the CitroŽn C4 VTS &
Exclusive, C5 Exclusive and C6 (standard across the
range), and optionally on the C4 VTR+.
What Car? British magazine has been at
the forefront of the drive for laminated side glass to
be fitted to more cars, and group editor Steve Fowler
commented: "The example set
by CitroŽn is widely applauded. Security glazing is
potentially the most significant security development
since the introduction of the immobiliser, so it really
to be embraced."
Aside from the obvious anti-crime
benefits of laminating the side glass, it also makes it
less likely that drivers will be thrown from their
vehicles during an accident as well as reducing noise
inside the car Ė by around four decibels. Motorists also
feel more secure when inside the vehicle, especially given
the eightfold increase in ďtraffic lightĒ car muggings
reported over the past three years(1).
4- Research conducted at Dover Port: 1,000 motorists