Home Car UpFront: Pack Your (Air) Baggage

UpFront: Pack Your (Air) Baggage

UpFront: Pack Your (Air) Baggage


From the July/August 2023 challenge of Automobile and Driver.

John W. Hetrick, an engineer from Pennsylvania, patented the airbag again in 1953. Whereas suppliers and automakers experimented with airbags within the ’60s and ’70s, they did not grow to be extensively obtainable till the ’80s and weren’t federally mandated till 1998. As of late, one would possibly discover 10 or extra airbags in a automobile, from aspect curtain to knee bolster, however nearly all early luggage had been housed within the steering wheel. Packaging these first luggage necessitated chunky “lunchbox” heart sections, devoid of the chrome and wooden discovered on nonbagged wheels. One can safely guess a automobile’s period simply by the look of these rubbery, boxy steering wheels.

Over time, the {hardware} obtained smaller, the programs grew to become safer, and steering wheels regained some model with nicer supplies and logos that do not pop off throughout airbag deployment. Extra refined for positive, though a few of us get a little bit nostalgic for lunchboxes.

2023 BMW 5-Sequence

Half Numbers: 32-30-8-008-186 (wheel), 32-30-8-097-022 (airbag)
Diameter: 14.5 inches
Options: Adjustable rake and attain; controls for audio, Bluetooth, and driver-assistance programs; elective warmth
Value (wheel plus airbag): $3300

1990 BMW 5-Sequence

Half Numbers: 32-34-1-159-786 (wheel), 32-34-1-161-756 (airbag)
Diameter: 15.5 inches
Options: It turns and tilts; there’s additionally a horn
Value (wheel plus airbag): $320 on eBay

upfront pack your bags

Illustration by Pete Sucheski|Automobile and Driver

1989–95 BMW 5-Sequence

The E34 was extremely regarded for its good-looking design and impressed dealing with, the M5 particularly so. This era launched to the 5-series lineup a wagon physique model, all-wheel drive (in Europe), and a V-8 engine. The E34 5-series was additionally one of many first BMWs to have a normal driver’s airbag.

upfront pack your bags

Illustration by Pete Sucheski|Automobile and Driver

2017–23 BMW 5-Sequence

Bigger than its predecessor however rife with creature comforts, the G30 5-series has a formidable checklist of superior driver-assistance programs. Underneath the precise situations, the automobile may even speed up, steer, and brake by itself. Commonplace entrance, aspect, and curtain air-bags provide supplemental safety for all occupants.



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