Audi gets top ratings for safety

26.06.2009: * Audi A4 and Q5: five stars even in stricter Euro NCAP crash test * Top ratings for Audi Q5 and Audi A4 in US crash tests as well

    * Audi A4 and Q5: five stars even in stricter Euro NCAP crash test
    * Top ratings for Audi Q5 and Audi A4 in US crash tests as well
    * Impressive and innovative passive safety and driver assistance systems

The latest Audi models have garnered top ratings for safety in four prestigious tests. The Audi A4 and Q5 achieved a top five-star rating in the new and more stringent Euro New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) safety tests. The U.S. National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) confirmed this outstanding collision performance and gave both cars a five-star rating in all categories. In addition, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a U.S. consumer protection organization, proclaimed the Audi Q5 its “Top Safety Pick” – the best buy when it comes to safety.

Following the tradition of the Audi A3, A4, A6 and Audi Q7, the Audi Q5 has now also achieved top ratings from the renowned Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) in the United States. This makes Audi the first carmaker in the world to earn the coveted honor of “Top Safety Pick” for the fifth time. The IIHS determines the safety standards for cars on behalf of the U.S. insurance industry. For this it conducts one front and one side impact test in each case, and also simulates a rear-end collision. The “Top Safety Pick” certificate is only awarded when top ratings are achieved in all three disciplines, and when the electronic stabilisation program (ESP) is offered as standard equipment as well.

The side impact test included in the IIHS crash test is particularly demanding. In it, the car being tested experiences a 31 mph (50 km/h) side impact with a moving barrier that simulates a typical American SUV. The resulting structural deformations are then evaluated, along with passenger kinematics and impact. The Audi Q5 stood out for its outstandingly low impact ratings – its high-strength and super-high-strength steel components ensure an extremely stable car body. The risk of injury is further reduced by the networked controls for the restraint systems, which adapt to each specific crash situation, along with up to eight airbags.

In the rear-end collision simulation, the IIHS evaluates impact on the neck and spine. In the Audi Q5, the integrated head restraint system and the optimized design of the seat geometry help counter the risk of whiplash injuries. The IIHS does not test performance in high-speed rear-end collisions. In these cases, the rear side rails, rear wheels, and body sills of the Audi Q5 are designed specifically to reduce the energy of impact. The fuel tank lies in the protected zone in front of the rear-axle support – and the fuel pump switches off when a crash is detected.

The Audi Q5 and A4 both achieved a top five-star rating in the Euro NCAP safety test, for which a new and expanded evaluation system was used. The Euro NCAP consortium is made up of international representatives of European transport ministries, automobile associations, insurers and consumer protection organizations. It examines the crash performance of new cars. The demanding requirements of the test traditionally far exceed the standards of European lawmakers. Since February 2009, Euro NCAP has added even more stringent standards: along with protecting adult passengers, the overall ratings also include standards for passenger protection for children and pedestrians, as well as the level of active safety.

Both the Audi A4 and the Q5 scored highly in all disciplines. The A4 and Q5 scored 93 and 92 percent, respectively, in protecting adult passengers in the frontal, side and simulated rear-end collisions. Both cars also achieved outstanding scores in child safety, with 84 percent out of 100 – impressive proof of the success of the comprehensive Audi “Modular Longitudinal Platform” safety concept, which serves as the basis of the A4 midsize sedan and the Q5 SUV.

Ensuring partner protection for pedestrians and cyclists is also an important concern for Audi. The specially designed front of the Audi A4 helps minimize the consequences of a collision, with foam cushioning in front of the transverse bumper beams, a generous crumple zone, panels with defined deformation zones, and special, deformable attachment of the front fender. This makes the Audi A4 one of the very first cars to fulfill all of the new legal regulations for passenger protection in Japan and Europe.

Audi offers an extensive active safety package to help prevent accidents before they happen. The Audi A4 and Q5 rated highly in the Euro NCAP tests thanks to their efficient ESP and seatbelt reminders, both standard equipment. Customers can also select numerous optional intelligent driver assistance systems. These include radar-supported adaptive cruise control with Audi braking guard, which actively warns the driver in multiple stages in imminent collision situations, the Audi lane assist lane departure warning system, and the Audi side assist lane-change assistant. The improved illumination of the road provided by adaptive cornering light also contributes significantly to greater safety.

The high safety standards of the Audi A4 and Audi Q5 were also resoundingly confirmed by the test methods applied by the U.S. National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA). Both cars received the top five-star rating from the U.S. traffic safety agency in a total of four categories for the front impact test at 35 mph (56 km/h) and the side impact test with a barrier traveling at 38.5 mph (62.5 km/h). The A4 also offered a top five-star performance in the additional category for protection against rollover; due to the higher center of gravity of SUVs, the Audi Q5 was certified with four stars in this category. The results find American safety experts in agreement with their European counterparts: the Audi A4 and Audi Q5 are among the safest cars in their classes.

- Udo Rügheimer-


26.06.2009 / MaP

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