Airbags are credited with saving tens of thousands of lives since first being introduced more than 35 years ago. They also are a key consideration for the designers who incorporate them into the cars we drive.
The Ford Mustang is the first vehicle equipped with a new kind of knee airbag that is integrated within the door of the glove box, instead of the instrument panel, so passengers get maximum room to stretch out.
Rather than a textile fabric, the technology consists of an innovative moulded plastic design, sandwiched between the outer and inner glove box door surfaces.
Just 46 centimetres long and 28 centimetres wide, the design weighs significantly less than a conventional knee airbag and yet offers comparable protection.
In the event of a collision, a tiny gas generator inflates the bladder in just 20 milliseconds, pushing the door exterior outwards to provide leg protection. Weight reduction improves fuel efficiency and the innovation has so far been granted 23 patents.
Altogether the all-new Ford Mustang is equipped with eight airbags as standard and has been awarded the highest-possible safety standard by North American authorities. Available as a fastback and convertible, the iconic American car is on sale across Europe for the first time in more than 50 years of production.