Performance is cheap. Life is priceless. - Veiss Automotive advertising slogan
The SR1's chief selling point is that it is among the safest anti-gravity drive race cars in the galaxy without compromising on performance. As a result, it has a wide variety of safety features, including several that go above those required by GARVR regulations.
The most basic safety feature is the crash cell the driver sits in, carefully modeled after the pellao "bathtubs" that many Sirian combat aerospacecraft possess. It is designed to withstand violent, high speed impacts without crumpling or disintegrating, preventing serious injury in the event of a collision. The seat the driver sits on is designed to collapse downward in the event of a vertical impact (such as that caused by a drive failure), absorbing the energy of the collision and protecting the driver's spine. This is another feature it shares with Sirian aerospacecraft. Much of the SR1 can act as crumple zones, absorbing energy in a crash sequence in much the same way as the seat. An internal roll bar is included, and the Cheetah's canopy is designed to maintain its shape in a crash, ensuring the driver is not trapped inside.
More advanced systems include a sensor that detects an imminent crash and ratchets the driver's seat restraints tightly to avoid whiplash or limbs flailing inside the cabin. Another sensor keeps an eye on vehicles close to the SR1 and display it on a HUD, improving situational awareness without forcing the driver to take his or her eyes off the track. An automatic power and electricity cut off significantly reduces the risk of a post-crash fire, and a lightweight fire suppression system is fitted as well. The power cells for the anti-gravity drive are contained in a non-flammable foam-like material, reducing the chance of violent deceleration and helping to ensure the power cells do not rupture in a crash.
To improve safety in free flight races, the SR1 is designed in such a way that it can glide if the anti-gravity drive fails (albeit not as well as an actual aircraft). Furthermore, a driver operated ballistic parachute drogue system can be deployed to allow the SR1 to fall gently back to earth. If it is triggered, the automatic cut off to the engine and electrical services also operates.
Although the SR1 enjoys significant straight line acceleration and top speed, turns need to be navigated with caution and finesse; as a result, those used to other race cars may require more time to adjust to its peculiarities.
The SR1 is the brainchild of Veiss Automotive's chief designer Hrounn Wann, who was obsessed with improving the safety record of motorsports and transport in general since the start of her career. She envisioned the SR1 as the pioneer of a new generation of ultra safe yet high performing sports vehicles. Unfortunately, for the first two years of the SR1's life interest from buyers was low. They did not see the point in the Cheetah's focus on safety, feeling it did not add significantly to the vehicle's value.
However, in the wake of the Verandi crown prince Mathias's death in a racing accident in late 3554, interest in the SR1's safety features rose sharply. In turn, Hrounn Wann was galvanised by the death, seeing it as an avoidable tragedy. She devised several extra safety features for a new version of the SR1 and submitted her proposal. Seeing a significant opportunity, Veiss Automotive approved it for immediate production, resulting in the appearance of the latest SR1 Cheetah early in 3555.